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Res Judicata Cases Summarized By Injury Lawyer

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Summarizes Res Judicata Cases

Brien Roche

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Res Judicata. For more information on res judicata see the pages on Wikipedia.   

Res Judicata-Cases

2015 Lee v. Spoden, 290 Va. 235, 776 S.E.2d 798.
Contempt proceeding between former spouses has res judicata effect. Issue preclusion bars successive litigation of an issue of fact or law actually litigated and resolved in a valid court determination essential to the prior judgment even if the issue recurs in the context of a different claim.

2013 Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., 285 Va. 537, 740 S.E.2d 1.
In this case involving res judicata, the Court applied the law prior to the adoption of Rule 1:6. The elements of res judicata are an identity of the remedy sought, identity of the cause of action, identity of the parties and identity of the quality of the persons for or against whom the claim is made. In this particular case, the evidence needed in the second action was different from the proof necessary to support the claims in the prior action, there were differing causes of action asserted and therefore the defense of res judicata should have been denied.

2008 Ayala v. Aggressive Towing and Transport, 276 Va. 169, 661 S.E.2d 480.
A judgment of conviction or acquittal in a criminal prosecution does not establish in a subsequent civil action the truth of the facts upon which it was rendered and such judgment is not admissible.

2007 Lambert v. Javed, 273 Va. 307, 641 S.E.2d 109.
Plaintiff filed three nearly identical lawsuits. Plaintiff non-suited Case No. 1 while Case No. 2 was pending. Case No. 2 was then dismissed with prejudice on the grounds of the statute of limitations. Case No. 3, at that point, was pending and was subsequently dismissed properly on res judicata grounds. The dismissal of Case No. 2 with prejudice was a res judicata bar to Case No. 3.

2003 Davis v. Marshall Homes. Inc., 265 Va. 159, 576 S.E.2d 504.
Plaintiff had previously asserted fraud action against defendants in case. In this case, she asserted breach of contract claim. Trial court improperly held that prior dismissal of fraud claim on merits was res judicata bar to current action. To establish res judicata, moving party must establish identity of remedy sought, identity of cause of action, identity of parties, identity of quality of persons for or against whom claim is made. In this case, causes of action are different since they rely upon different evidence and arise from definable, factual transactions that are different, i.e., fraud claim based upon different facts than breach of contract claim.

1997 Straessle v. Airline Pilot’s Ass’n, 253 Va. 349, 482 S.E.2d 812.
Plaintiff was party to Federal District Court action involving multiple parties which was dismissed with prejudice. Under Federal Rule 54(b), that Order is not final unless expressly stated by U.S. District Court that it is final judgment. That was not done in this case and as such that prior Order does not have res judicata effect in this present case.

1994 Horton v. Morrison, 248 Va. 304, 448 S.E.2d 629.
Morrison and Horton were two operators of motor vehicles involved in accident. Shaver was passenger in Horton’s vehicle. Horton and Shaver sued Morrison and Morrison then filed third party claim against Horton as to Shaver claim. Horton failed to respond to third party motion for judgment and default judgment entered against him in favor of Morrison. Horton’s personal injury claim against Morrison is not barred by res judicata since cause of action is not same as Morrison’s third party action against Horton for contribution. Likewise, collateral estoppel is not applicable because a requirement of collateral estoppel is that issue must have been subject of actual litigation. In this case default was entered and therefore issue was not actually litigated.

1992 Arkansas Best Freight Sys. v. H.H. Moore Trucking, 244 Va. 304, 421 S.E.2d 197.
Res judicata stands for proposition that one person shall not for second time litigate, with same person, same issue which was previously and finally adjudicated on merits by court of competent jurisdiction. In this case, determination of insurance coverage not res judicata as to indemnity.

1992 Faison v. Hudson, 243 Va. 413, 417 S.E.2d 302.
Judgment under appeal. Since appeal period is still open, judgment is not final and therefore res judicata not applicable.

1986 Lloyd v. American Motor Inns, 231 Va. 269, 343 S.E.2d 68.
For prior judgment to be res judicata the first court must first have had jurisdiction over the subject matter. In this case prior judgment was of Industrial Commission on issue over which it lacked subject matter jurisdiction.

1981 Goodstein v. Allen, 222 Va. 1, 278 S.E.2d 787.
Issue previously adjudicated, therefore res judicata applies.

1979 Lee v. Commonwealth, 219 Va. 1108, 254 S.E.2d 126.
Doctrine does not apply if it appears that prior judgment could have been grounded upon issue other than that which defendant seeks to foreclose from consideration.

1979 Bernau v. Nealon, 219 Va. 1039, 254 S.E.2d 82.
Failure to file record of prior proceeding with plea of res judicata or to offer it in evidence at trial is fatal. One who asserts defense of res judicata has burden of proving that very point or question was in issue and determined in former suit.

1973 Barkman v. Chevalier, 214 Va. 6, 196 S.E.2d 911.
Dentist sued patient for unpaid bill. Patient, pro se, filed pleading entitled “Response to Bill of Particulars” asserting counterclaim for malpractice. That counterclaim apparently was dismissed. Subsequent action for same malpractice is barred.

1973 Saba Apts., Inc. v. Lang, 213 Va. 473, 193 S.E.2d 799.
Identical question had been at issue and was determined in defendant’s favor by court of competent jurisdiction in former suit between same parties. Plea of res judicata properly sustained.

1963 Eller v. Blackwelder, 204 Va. 292, 130 S.E.2d 426.
Agreed order of dismissal normally bars subsequent litigation on same cause of action between same parties.

1960 Cooper v. Pickett, 202 Va. 65, 116 S.E.2d 52.
Two lawsuits filed as result of one accident. In first action passenger sued defendant and defendant found not liable. In second action driver sued same defendant. Res judicata not applicable. Other cases cited.

1959 Smith v. New Dixie Lines, 201 Va. 466, 111 S.E.2d 434.
General rule is that judgment of conviction or acquittal in criminal prosecution is not res judicata, and is not admissible in civil proceeding.

1958 Aetna v. Czoka, 200 Va. 385, 105 S.E.2d 869.
As general rule, no party is bound in subsequent proceeding by judgment unless adverse party now seeking to secure benefit of former adjudication would have been prejudiced by it if it had been determined other way. Criminal conviction is normally not res judicata to subsequent civil suit.

1957 Storm v. Nationwide Ins. Co., 199 Va. 130, 97 S.E.2d 759.
Plaintiff in this action obtained judgment in personal injury action against insured of Nationwide. Insured litigated issue of coverage and court held no coverage. This ruling is not binding on this plaintiff since no identity of parties. Requirements for res judicata discussed.

1956 Worrie v. Boze, 198 Va. 533, 95 S.E.2d 192.
Burden on defendant to prove identity of issues where res judicata raised. In this case not proved.

1955 Byrum v. Ames & Webb, Inc., 196 Va. 597, 85 S.E.2d 364.
Res judicata is technical doctrine and one who invokes it cannot complain if proceedings upon which he relies are subject to technical scrutiny. Requirements: (1) identity of parties; (2) identity of issues; (3) operation of estoppels must be mutual. In this case Byrum sued Ames & Webb, Inc., both of whom had been previously sued by Mills who recovered judgment against Byrum. No res judicata as to action between Byrum and Ames & Webb, Inc.

1954 Petrus v. Robbins, 196 Va. 322, 83 S.E.2d 408.
Res judicata. may be invoked upon final judgment of lower court provided lower court had jurisdiction over parties and subject matter. For res judicata. to apply it is essential that identical issue on which it is invoked was necessarily decided in former cause. Judgment in property damage action is res judicata as to personal injury action subsequently brought arising out of same accident. Four requirements: (1) identity in thing sued for; (2) identity of cause of action; (3) identity of persons, and of parties to action; (4) identity of quality in persons for or against whom claim is made. Doctrine applies to judgment of court of inferior or limited jurisdiction as well as to court of record of general jurisdiction.

1954 Fowler v. Tobacco Growers, Inc., 195 Va. 770, 80 S.E.2d 554.
General rule is that parties to judgment are not bound by it in subsequent controversies between each other where they are not adversaries in action in which judgment is rendered.

1953 Patterson v. Saunders, 194 Va. 607, 74 S.E.2d 204.
Fact necessarily in issue, on which there has been judgment, is thereby conclusively settled in any suit thereafter between same parties or their privies.

1953 Patterson v. Anderson, 194 Va. 557, 74 S.E.2d 195.
For this doctrine to apply it is required that there be identical: (1) parties in identical capacity; (2) issue.

1951 Ferebee v. Hungate, 192 Va. 32, 63 S.E.2d 761.
Elements of res judicata are: (1) identity of persons and parties; (2) identity of issue; (3) operation of estoppels must be mutual. Several other personal injury cases discussed in regards to res judicata.

1949 Murden v. Wilbert, 189 Va. 358, 53 S.E.2d 42.
Auto accident. Plaintiff and defendant operating cars of their fathers. Defendant’s father filed suit for property damage, plaintiff filed counterclaim for personal injury against defendant’s father and agents. Defendant’s father dismissed his suit by agreed order. This did not serve as res judicata as to plaintiff’s suit.

1947 Sykes v. Stone & Webster, 186 Va. 116, 41 S.E.2d 469.
Proceedings before Industrial Commission determined relationship of parties and that relationship became res judicata.

1944 Cohen v. Power, 183 Va. 258, 32 S.E.2d 64.
Primary test is whether facts essential to two actions are same.

1943 Raven Red Ash Coal Co. v. Griffith, 181 Va. 911, 27 S.E.2d 360.
Industrial Commission ruled that employee was not engaged in any business of his employer. This ruling was res judicata as to subsequent civil suit.



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Res Judicata Cases Summarized By Injury Lawyer

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