Can you sue yourself?

I’ve been a lawyer since 1992 and a magistrate since 2001. I’ve never heard of anyone suing himself and, other than some of the relatively obscure examples already given, don’t know how you would pull it off. I would dismiss any such case as frivolous.

Not quite the same thing but I recall reading about a military officer who was assigned dual duties (a common situation) as both quartermaster of a division and the commander of one of the brigades in the division. Acting as the brigade commander, he sent a written request to the quartermaster for some supplies. Then, acting as the quartermaster, he send a written response back to the brigade commander denying the request. He then appealed the decision in writing and then upheld his original denial. At that point, following procedure, he sent the entire issue up to the division commander for his decision. The division commander supposedly said it was the first time he’d ever been asked to resolve an argument somebody was having with himself.

If he knew he was going to deny the request, why did he file it in the first place?

A variant is the “sweetheart” class action. In a class proceeding, the result binds the class (unless individuals take the deliberate step of ‘opting out’). This means that, in some cases, where (say) a manufacturer of a defective product knows they are in for liability, they may quietly arrange to be sued in a class action, and then cut a deal which limits their liability to a managable amount (that is, the minimum likely to be acceptable to a judge, who has to approve class settlements). Chances are hardly anyone would “opt out” and so this minimizes the litigation risk.

This is sorta like “suing yourself”.

Presumably he wanted the paper trail showing the official request, official denial, official appeal, and official re-denial to establish that proper procedure had been adhered to thus far, so that the division commander could then legally address the matter.

So he could appeal he decision that he knew he was going to make.

This apocryphal story has long been told about the notoriously-ornery Braxton Bragg. See the second paragraph here:

Maybe I’m just thick - but I don’t understand this. Whether he sued or not, the insurance would pay out (or not) regardless, based solely on the situation and whether the diver was covered for self-inclicted accidental death. His status would be irrelevant. Since he was already the sole heir and representative, he already gets the money.

Am I being stupid here, or does this confuse anyone else?

The insurer might have refused to pay on contributory negligence grounds.

It wasn’t her life insurance, it was her auto insurance. The insurer didn’t contest liability, but didn’t think his injuries justified paying out the entire policy limit, so he sued.

As I understood the summary, it wasn’t that he sued to recover the insurance for his wife’s death; it was that he sued the wife’s estate for his own injuries, alleging that his wife negligently harmed him, and therefore his wife’s insurance policy should cover him.

I don’t think that is very likely …and neither do I …