This unfortunate woman crashed her vehicle, injuring herself and fatally injuring her husband. But what’s interesting is what’s happening now: she’s going to sue herself, to get money from her own insurance company.
A Utah woman will be the plaintiff and the defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit that has legal experts scratching their heads. … a Utah court has ruled Bagley, the representative of her late husband’s estate, may sue Bagley the driver in the fatal accident for wrongful death.
How can a person sue herself?
The lawsuit boils down to the definition of ‘of another.’ … Bagley the driver is a separate party from Bagley the estate representative. Bagley the driver is represented by her insurance company and the suit, according to one legal expert, is likely an attempt for her to collect on an insurance payout.
“So basically she’s suing herself so that the insurance recovery can follow,” Shima Baradaran, a University of Utah law professor, told ABC4 News.
Baradaran called the case rare and “pretty ludicrous.”
Oh Professor Baradaran, we theologians can get a lot of mileage out of the ludicrous. It all depends on how you describe it. Here’s how your viewpoint would be shot down in flames court, after we theologians advise Ms. Bagley’s lawyers. Let’s call the two lawyers L (for “ludicrous”) and T (for “theologically informed”).
L: Your honor, we urge dismissal. No one can sue herself for damages!
T: We object to that language, your honor. Our opponents don’t understand how a woman can legally sue herself, but it is insanely overconfident to argue that something can’t be done just because it is rare, or because you don’t understand how. There are many things we can’t understand. And the court said it can be done.
L: Rare? Try non-existent! And we do understand that the plaintiff and defendant here are the same person.
T: Same person, yes. But different party. We don’t say that “she’s suing herself.” We say that she is one person, one lady, in two parties.
L: What does that even mean?
T: Just because ordinarily there is a one-to-one correspondence between parties and persons, it doesn’t follow that it must always be so.
L: But a legal “party” just is a certain person. And it’s the same lady!
T: Of course it’s one lady. But she is two parties. Let me put it differently: Bagley as estate representative is going to sue Bagley as driver.
L: That language just obscures that we’re dealing with one lady here. You’re not talking about two ways to sue, are you?
L: And Bagley-as-estate-representative isn’t a different person than Bagley-as-driver, is she?
T: No. Look – I never said I was going explain this to you. I just said this is another way to put it. I can’t fix your small-minded refusal to allow us to describe our own case.
L: Your honor, this is egregious nonsense. I again move for dismissal.
T: Your honor, do major philosophers seriously discuss egregious nonsense? Two words: relative identity.
Powerfully argued, eh? I sense a win (and a loss) in Ms. Bagley’s future.
Here’s a song which she can sing to herself.