Students of corporate law learn about the celebrated British case of Salomon v. Salomon & Co. (1897) in which a shoemaker successfully sued a corporation whose only shareholders were himself, his wife, and his children. Well, here is a fellow in Lodi, Calif., taking the principle one step further. Curtis Gokey, a Lodi city employee who drives municipal dump trucks, backed one into a private vehicle owned by . . . himself. It seemed reasonable to Mr. Gokey to sue the municipality for damage caused by Gokey (employee) to the property of Gokey (citizen). When the claim was denied, Mrs. Gokey raised the banner that had been dashed from the hands of her husband, and filed suit for an even larger amount, on the grounds that her name also appears on the insulted vehicle’s registration. A defendant who represents himself is traditionally said to have a fool for a client. What should we say about a plaintiff who sues over damages caused by himself? Only, perhaps, that the litigious vapors that permeate every aspect of modern American life have deprived him of his senses.
Posted on the old blog 3/31/2006.