The federal and New York state court decisions hold that third-party impleader practice encompasses subrogation claims.
Defendant insurer filed a motion to implead third-party defendants, a jewelry store owner and an employee, in plaintiff insured's action to recover the proceeds of a policy insuring jewelry. The insured made a claim as a result of a theft of jewelry to be sold on consignment and left for safekeeping with the store owner. The insured alleged subrogation rights against the store owner and the employee based on their negligence.
Should defendant insurer's motion to implead be granted?
The court granted the insurer's motion to implead. The court held that the third-party claim arose from the same transaction and found that its inclusion would serve the interests of judicial economy. The court determined that the allegedly speculative nature of the third-party claim did not bar an impleader. The court found instead that the insured was not prejudiced, although he could possibly require additional discovery, by the insurer's third-party claim.