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As between the insurer and the wrong-doer in reason and justice the burden of making compensation to the injured party ought to be ultimately borne by the party thus in fault. The party whose wrongful act or culpable negligence caused the injury ought to make compensation and bear the loss.
The citizen filed an action for damages sustained by reason of an insufficiency of the town's highway. The trial court allowed testimony of whether the citizen had accident insurance from which he had received reimbursement and entered a judgment in favor of the citizen, minus the amount that the citizen had recovered from his insurance company. The town sought review from an order of the trial court which entered a verdict in favor of the citizen.
Was the town entitled to have deducted the amount received by the citizen from an insurance company on account of the injuries for which he claims to recover against the town?
The court held that the insurance company and the town were not joint tortfeasors or joint debtors so as to have made payment or satisfaction by the former operate to the benefit of the latter. The court determined that it could not have been said that the citizen took out the policy in the interest or behalf of the town, nor was there any legal principle which seemed to require that it be ultimately appropriated to the town's use and benefit. The court reversed the judgment and added the amount deducted to the damage award.