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Insurer or Insured as Party to Suit

Subrogation allows the insurer to stand in the shoes of the injured party and exercise the injured party’s right to sue the tortfeasor.  Subrogation effectively permits the insurer to sue itself, where the insurer is also obliged to indemnify the tortfeasor.[i]

The mere payment of a loss by the insurer does not indeed afford any defense, in whole or in part, to a person, whose fault has been the cause of the loss, in a suit brought against the latter by the assured.  However, upon familiar principles, the insurer acquires by such payment a corresponding right in any damages to be recovered by the assured against the wrong-doer, or other party responsible for the loss.  Moreover, the insurer may enforce this right by action at common law in the name of the assured, or, by suit in his/her own name, when the case admits of proceeding in equity or admiralty.[ii]

[i] Craven v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 1998 Ohio App. LEXIS 897 (Ohio Ct. App., Summit County Mar. 11, 1998)

[ii] “potomac”, 105 U.S. 630, 634 (U.S. 1882)

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