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03/25/76 CITY DETROIT v. SPIVEY

March 25, 1976

CITY OF DETROIT
v.
SPIVEY



Appeal from Wayne, Elza H. Papp, J.

V. J. Brennan, P. J., and R. M. Maher and G. W. Britten,* JJ.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. Workmen's Compensation -- Third-Party Tortfeasors -- Action by Employer -- Statutes.

An employee injured by a third party has the exclusive right for one year to bring an action against the third-party tortfeasor; after one year, the employer or an insurance carrier who has paid compensation for the injury may initiate an action, which may be brought in the name of the injured employee (MCLA 418.827; MSA 17.237[827]).

2. Workmen's Compensation -- Third-Party Tortfeasors -- Action by Employer -- Real Party in Interest -- Statutes.

There is only one cause of action against a third-party tortfeasor who has injured an employee, and where the liability of the third party is successfully asserted the employee and the employer or insurance carrier who has paid compensation share in any recovery; therefore, the employer or carrier is a real party in interest (MCLA 418.827[5]; MSA 17.237[827][5]).

3. Negligence -- Torts -- Third-Party Tortfeasors -- Splitting Cause of Action -- Workmen's Compensation Act -- Statutes.

A statutory provision that an action by an employer or insurance carrier against a third-party tortfeasor may be brought in the name of an injured employee is a prevention against splitting the cause of action against the tortfeasor (MCLA 418.827; MSA 17.237[827]).

4. Action -- Defenses -- Splitting Cause of Action -- Settlements -- Waiver of Defense.

Settlement with one real party in interest, where there is more than one party in interest, waives the defense of splitting a cause of action against the party or parties which have not settled.

5. Negligence -- Torts -- Workmen's Compensation -- Third-Party Tortfeasors -- Employers -- Real Party in Interest -- Action for Reimbursement -- Court Rules.

An employer of an employee who was injured by a third-party tortfeasor and who has paid workmen's compensation benefits to his employee is a real party in interest in an action brought against the tortfeasor for reimbursement of benefits paid and the dismissal of such an action because the injured employee is not a named plaintiff is error under controlling court rules (GCR 1963, 111.3, 201.2, 205).

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam

Complaint in common pleas court by the City of Detroit, Department of Street Railways, against Bonnie Sue Spivey and Jerry Spivey for reimbursement of workmen's compensation benefits paid to one of plaintiff's employees because of injuries caused to him by the alleged negligence of the defendants. Cause removed to circuit court for consolidation ...


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