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LPL Superseding Cause Defense Needs Trial

Tuesday, September 18, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tom Jensen
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Plaintiff sued for divorce and defendant appeared pro se. An amended complaint was served but was not answered. Plaintiff filed for default but defendant did not respond, claiming later that notice was not provided. Court entered default on November 24, 2015. Plaintiff remarried on December 17, 2015. Defendant thereafter obtained vacation of the decree; at that point plaintiff was married to two persons. She sued counsel claiming the default notice should have been effectuated. Counsel defended claiming defendant’s counsel’s error in not informing the court of remarriage (during the vacation motion) was a superseding cause of plaintiff's distress. Trial court agreed and dismissed LPL claim. In Rabbage v. Lorella, 2018 WL 4293457 (Wash. App. Sept. 10, 2018) the ruling was reversed. If the decree-ordering judge had been aware of the remarriage it is certain the decree could have been bifurcated to deal with the remarriage fact. Thus a fact issue was presented on superseding cause.


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