Is It Ever Proper to Sue a Friend?

Transcript: Is it ever right and proper to sue a friend. I would suggest to you that many occasions it is appropriate and expected. For example, if you are injured on a friend’s property because of some defect in the property, the friend normally has property insurance to cover precisely the type of damage suffered by a defect on the property that you encountered. Now, if you think about it, do people insure their own property in case someone they don’t know comes onto the property and gets injured or in case a burglar comes onto the property and gets injured? No. The reason they insure their property is precisely because a friend or relative or someone that they’ve invited comes onto their property. Now if you’re on someone’s property, you’re going up the stairs, for example, and the handrail comes off the wall and you fall down the stairs and break your leg that’s a perfectly acceptable time to bring a claim against that person. And you have full control of whether that claim reaches to the person beyond the coverage limits of their insurance policy. You can say, I only want to go after the insurance that my friend has secured to protect me. Now there may be provisions under the policy where you can get medical payments coverage for your injury without any kind of fault being shown on the part of the property owner. And then there’s usually a provision that requires some fault on the part of the property owner. And that then is fully within your control as to whether you want to proceed with suit and to the extent that you want to proceed with suit. You can always advise your attorney that you do not want to pursue the person beyond the limits of their insurance coverage.

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