The legal blog Lowering The Bar has a list of lawsuits where both the plaintiff and the defendant were the same person or legal entity.

Some of the examples are:

"Utah Court Says Woman Can Sue Herself", Lowering the Bar

You might not consider Utah the most progressive state, but it has become the first to grant its citizens a controversial right that many have long been denied, proving that the law does evolve. Utah has now become the first state to officially allow its citizens to sue themselves.

As the Salt Lake Tribune reports (thanks, Mark), a unanimous panel of the Court of Appeals ruled on February 15 that Utah law allows a decedent's heir and the personal representative of his estate to sue the driver who allegedly caused the accident that killed him. That wouldn't be unusual except that in Bagley v. Bagley, those are all the same people.

"Woman Seeks Damages for Damage Caused by Woman", Lowering the Bar

"I think I can safely say this is a very unusual claim," said Shari Moore, the city clerk of St. Paul, Minnesota. Moore was talking about Megan Campbell's claim against the city for damage to her car caused when a city vehicle crashed into it. Driving that city vehicle: Megan Campbell.

However, all of the lawsuits listed appeared to have been thrown out or in progress. There was also a recent report of a man suing himself and winning, but the article was sourced from a satirical news site.

Are there any examples of such cases of autolitigation where the plaintiff was awarded damages of some kind, as opposed to the lawsuit being thrown out?

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    See also on Skeptics: Did a man sue himself and win?
    – unor
    Jul 17, 2015 at 21:07
  • I think that the first example is totally plausible because if the person receives the estate as inheritance probably it will cost more in taxes than receiving the estate as damage compensation for the accident. Apr 2, 2016 at 2:03

1 Answer 1


Here's the thing: if the plaintiff/appellant/claimant are the same legal entity as the defendant/respondent, it's plain to see that one of them must lose.

For instance, consider a case where two trains operated by the same corporation collide. Assuming that the drivers both performed their duties, the company is vicariously liable – such a case is frivolous and is likely to be thrown out for that reason. It's just a waste of time and money.

Or your second example: If the woman was driving the city vehicle and crashed it in the course of her duties, it is the city that will be the defendant in the proceedings, not the woman.

So essentially: while it's difficult to prove that something has never happened, these are good reasons to expect it would not happen.

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    @nomen You're right, it doesn't. I suppose I'm trying to point out that it's highly unlikely? As you say, it's difficult to prove a negative, and in the absence of such proof, I'm offering reasonably strong arguments for answering in the negative.
    – jimsug
    Jul 15, 2015 at 12:29
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    Just because the same person is named on both sides, doesn't automatically make it pointless. The person may be acting in two legal capacities with one side being insured (like the Utah case, where the person as estate administrator sued herself as driver but was really looking to collect from the insurance, who intervened for the defense). There may be a net payout from one entity to a truly different entity.
    – cpast
    Jul 15, 2015 at 17:50
  • @cpast why not just sue the insurance company directly in that case?
    – phoog
    Jul 15, 2015 at 18:11
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    @cpast In the accidents I've been involved in, which, granted, did not result in anyone's death or injury, the insurance company covered my liabilities without anyone having to sue me. Is the suit necessary to establish the driver's monetary liability to the injured party? Couldn't the estate and the driver just settle out of court? In any event, in this case, the plaintiff is the estate, not the executor of the estate, so even though the respondent is also the executor, it's not really a case of a person suing himself.
    – phoog
    Jul 15, 2015 at 19:09
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    @phoog this is absolutely the normal practice but what if the insurer is refusing to pay? Perhaps they claim the driver did something to render the policy invalid. Or the could be arguing over the amount.
    – Dale M
    Jul 16, 2015 at 3:03

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