Fagnan v. Great Central Insurance Co.

577 F.2d 418, cert. denied, 439 U.S. 1004 (7th Cir. 1978)


A car crash resulted in the death of Robert Thompson and injuries to his passenger David Harness. The driver of the other car, Duane Fagnan was also injured. Harness sued Thompson's estate, and the estate sued Fagnan as a third-party claim for contribution. Harness then filed a claim against Fagnan. Fagnan cross-claimed against the estate. The case was settled without a trial, and the court dismissed the action and under Rule 41 (b) that dismissal operated as an adjudication on the merits. Duane Fagnan and Raymond Fagnan, Duane's father, sued Thompson's insurer, Great Central Insurance Company under a direct action statute. The case was removed to district court, and a jury gave the verdict to Duane and Raymond. Great Central appealed.