Nationwide Ins. Co. of America v. Tri-County Metro. Trans. District (TRIMET)

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Insurance Law
  • Date Filed: 08-13-2014
  • Case #: A153690
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Wollheim, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

An insurer who makes an outright payment to its insured is subrogated to the insured’s claim, and a subrogated insurer becomes the real party in interest under ORCP 21(A)6.

Nationwide Insurance Company (Nationwide), an automobile insurer, filed suit against TriMet, a regional transit authority, to recover the amount paid to Nationwide’s insured as the result of an accident with a TriMet bus. Nationwide argued that they were subrogated to all rights of their insured against TriMet. The trial court dismissed the claim under ORCP 21(A)6 & ORCP 26 because Nationwide was not the party in interest; and alternatively, under ORCP 21 A(8) because Nationwide did not allege that they themselves had been injured. The Court reversed and remanded on the party in interest grounds, holding that, under Metropolitan Property & Casualty v. Harper, an insurer who makes an outright payment to its insured is subrogated to the insured’s claim, and a subrogated insurer becomes the real party in interest. Because Nationwide’s complaint does state a claim as a result of subrogation, the Court reversed and remanded the alternate basis for dismissal, because it was predicated on the argument that the claim did not allege that the Nationwide had been injured. Reversed and remanded.

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