Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff, Gross, sought payment from Defendant, Hanover Insurance Company, under an insurance policy. Defendant impleaded third-party defendants, Anthony and Joseph Rizzo.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 14(a), a defendant can implead a party who is or may be liable to the defendant for the damages sought by the plaintiff.
The court must balance the benefits derived from impleader—that is, the benefits of settling related matters in one suit—against the potential prejudice to the plaintiff and third-party defendants.View Full Point of Law
Issue. The issue is whether the court should grant Defendant’s motion to implead the Rizzo brothers under Rule 14(a).
Held. The court held that the allegations brought by Defendant were sufficient to implead the Rizzos as third-party defendants. Rule 14(a) only requires a defendant to plead that the third party may have been liable and does not have to meet the burden at this point to firmly establish the Rizzos’ liability. The court believed that bringing in the parties may also be more efficient for purposes of discovery.
Discussion. Rule 14(a) is meant to improve the efficiencies of the court system by bringing in parties united under the same core of facts to resolve issues in one trial. The court therefore, in absence of any significant prejudice to Plaintiff, allowed the motion.