Lawsuit against corporation and individuals wherein we are alleging corporate liability based the individuals' conduct under an apparent agency relationship. The individuals are in default. Is there any drawback to proceeding with taking default against the individual defendants and having a hearing to determine damages? Would corporation be stopped from contesting the damages established in the default award, if corporate liability under the apparent agency theory was subsequently established?
Answer: I would be concerned about the “one judgment” rule. That rule states that there can be only one judgment arising out of a given set of operative facts and that once you take that judgment, you cannot obtain a second judgment on the same operative set of facts. See: Retherford v. Halliburton Co., 1977 OK 178, 527 P.2d 966. What is commonly done is to have the court find the defaulting defendants in default but defer entering judgment against them until the issues are determined as to the non-defaulting judgments and then entering judgment against all defendants for the amount of the judgment found against the non-defaulting defendants.
Posted on Tue, August 25, 2009
by Sharon Coleman filed under