Tort Law

Subrogation Cases

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Summarizes Subrogation Cases

Brien Roche

Subrogation cases brought to you by Brien Roche, an experienced tort lawyer serving Northern Virginia for over 35 years. Read more about subrogation and other personal injury related information on this site. See also Wikipedia for additional information.


See Va. Code § 38.2-207 indicating that insurance company may pursue subrogation in its own name or name of insured.

See Va. Code § 38.2-3405 indicating that subrogation not allowed for medical payment benefits.

See Va. Code § 38.2-2209 prohibiting subrogation provision for medical payments in automobile liability policy.


2003 Yellow Freight Sys., Inc. v. Courtaulds Performance Films, Inc., 266 Va. 57, 580 S.E.2d 812.

For workers’ compensation insurance carrier to perfect its claim for subrogation, it must file petition or motion seeking to assert such subrogation claim prior to verdict or, in this case, prior to settlement having been reached since all such claims were disposed of under the terms of the settlement. Since the carrier did not do that in a timely fashion, its subrogation right is barred.

1990 Northland Ins. Co. v. Virginia Prop. & Cas. Ins. Guar. Ass’n, 240 Va. 115, 392 S.E.2d 682.

No subrogation allowed by uninsured motorist carrier against Virginia Property and Casualty.

1988 Group Hosp. Med. Serv. v. Smith, 236 Va. 228, 372 S.E.2d 159.

Anti-subrogation clause of Va. Code § 38.2-3405 applies to employer in group insurance policy. Essential terms of insurance contract are set forth. Employer is barred from pursuing subrogation.

1987 Transilift Equip. v. Cunningham, 234 Va. 84, 360 S.E.2d 183.

Plaintiff’s VA hospital bill was properly admitted into evidence.

1984 Insurance Co. of N. Am. v. Abiouness, 227 Va. 10, 313 S.E.2d 663.

Insurers not liable for damages incurred in condominium construction project where insured unilaterally released general contractor responsible for defects, thereby eliminating insurers’ subrogation rights.

1978 United Servs. v. Nationwide Mut., 218 Va. 861, 241 S.E.2d 784.

Oberg was insured by U.S.A.A. Nationwide denied coverage to Brewer, the tortfeasor. U.S.A.A. settled with Oberg under uninsured motorist coverage and then instituted subrogation action against Nationwide. The court held that the claim was barred until judgment entered against tortfeasor.

1973 Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. v. Minnifield, 213 Va. 797, 196 S.E.2d 75.

Right of contribution arises when one tortfeasor has paid claims for which other wrongdoer is also liable. Insurer making settlement of claim against its insured is subrogated to his right of contribution.

1973 Collins v. Blue Cross of Va., 213 Va. 540, 193 S.E.2d 782.

Sound distinction drawn between assignment of tort claim and subrogation of hospital and medical payments by contract. Subrogation by hospital and medical care associations permitted, although it is forbidden as to medical payments coverage in automobile liability policy.

1971 American S. v. New Amsterdam, 212 Va. 17, 181 S.E.2d 644.

Suit for subrogation by one insurance company against another. Since no privity of contract nor right of subrogation. alleged, motion for judgment was demurrable.

1968 Bobbitt v. Shelby Mut. Ins. Co., 209 Va. 37, 161 S.E.2d 671.

Plaintiff’s vehicle struck by uninsured motorist. Motors Insurance Company had collision coverage on plaintiff’s vehicle; Shelby had liability and uninsured motorist coverage. Motors cannot recover under Shelby policy by way of subrogation. Collision carrier assumed risk and received premium. Policy does not insure uninsured motorist against liability, it insures against inadequate compensation.

1968 Motors Ins. Co. v. United States Fire Ins. Co., 208 Va. 684, 160 S.E.2d 754.

Automobile owned by Meacham and driven by Waterhouse, U.S. Fire’s insured, ran off road and declared total loss. Motors insured lienholder of vehicle. U.S. Fire’s policy covered driver against loss caused by collision to non-owned automobile. Motors does not have subrogation right against U.S. Fire.

1964 Hudgins v. Jones, 205 Va. 495, 138 S.E.2d 16.

Not error to require plaintiff to show in caption of suit, that it was brought for use and benefit of insurance company since this fact was stated in pleadings.

1961 City of Richmond v. Hanes, 203 Va. 102, 122 S.E.2d 895.

City voluntarily paid medical expenses of injured employee. No subrogation since no legal duty to pay. City’s right to recover limited by Va. Code § 32-138 [now § 8.01-66.2].

1961 Nationwide Mut. v. Jewel Tea Co., 202 Va. 527, 118 S.E.2d 646.

Insurance company that has both subrogation and contribution rights arising out of same accident may assert these rights separately.

1957 Rea v. Ford, 198 Va. 712, 96 S.E.2d 92.

Third-party claim from workmen’s compensation award. Both carrier and employee are represented by counsel. Insurance counsel in control of litigation and court property prohibited two counsel from in essence presenting two different cases.

1955 Gary Steel Corp. v. Kitchin, 197 Va. 471, 90 S.E.2d 120.

Action for subrogation or reimbursement does not accrue until payment of judgment (or settlement).

1954 Petrus v. Robbins, 196 Va. 322, 83 S.E.2d 408.

Judgment in subrogation suit is res judicata as to subsequent action between original defendant and insured arising out of same incident.

1952 Miller v. Tomlinson, 194 Va. 367, 73 S.E.2d 378.

It was error to join insurance company subrogee as co-plaintiff.

1952 Childress v. Fidelity, 194 Va. 191, 72 S.E.2d 349.

Where surety incurs liability as result of wrongful death judgment against principal and principal has agreed to indemnify surety company for any losses or damages it may sustain, then surety may maintain action against principal on surety agreement.

1950 McKay v. Citizens Rapid Transit Co., 190 Va. 851, 59 S.E.2d 121.

Insurance carrier has right to proceed in name of its insured for its own use and benefit. In this case insurance carrier was actually named in style of case. Insurance carrier is subrogated to any rights of contribution that insured may have. Virginia has long been committed to liberal application of doctrine of subrogation.

1945 Norfolk & Belt Line v. Jones, 183 Va. 536, 32 S.E.2d 720.

Where suit is brought both for benefit of insurer and insured and such is indicated in style and plaintiff’s counsel in opening states that suit is for benefit of widow and son (insured), then jury may be informed that suit is also for benefit of insurer.

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Subrogation Cases

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