Friday, April 02, 2010

Summary 2010 WY 40

Summary of Decision issued April 2, 2010

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court.

Case Name: Fuentes v. Jednat

Citation: 2010 WY 40

Docket Number: S-09-0009

Appeal from the District Court of Teton County, the Honorable Nancy J. Guthrie, Judge.

Representing Appellant Fuentes: William R. Fix and Jenna V. Manraccia of William R. Fix, PC, Jackson, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee: Katherine L. Mead and Bradford S. Mead of Mead & Mead, Jackson, Wyoming for Margred and Paul Jednat; and Laurence W. Stinson of Bonner Stinson, PC, Cody, Wyoming for James Lewis.

Facts/Discussion: While they were driving in downtown Jackson, Fuentes and her daughter were rear-ended by a drunk, eighteen-year-old Jonathan Jednat. Jonathan was living with his uncle James Lewis in Jackson and driving a car Lewis had given to Jonathan’s parents for Jonathan’s use.
Fuentes argued that her claim against Jonathan’s relatives was a new claim and not a renewal of the case against Jonathan. She relied upon a theory of negligent entrustment arguing that because it is a different kind of breach of the duty of reasonable care than is driving while under the influence, the damages claimed are different. The Jednats argued that since Fuentes and her daughter have recovered their damages once, they cannot recover again.
The Court rejected Fuentes’ position. In her action against Jonathan, she presented evidence on all of her injuries and her daughters’ injuries, and damages resulting from the accident. The jury determined those damages and returned a verdict in her favor. Fuentes failed to establish how the damages caused by the Jednats’ and Lewis’ alleged fault differed from the damages resulting from Jonathan’s fault. When a judgment includes a determination of the entirety of recoverable damages suffered by the plaintiff for an indivisible injury and provides for their recovery by the plaintiff against one or more of the defendants, payment of the full amount of recoverable damages constitutes a satisfaction of the plaintiff’s rights against all tortfeasors legally responsible for the plaintiff’s indivisible injury.

Conclusion: The Court found no genuine issue of material fact and the Jednats and Lewis were entitled to judgment as matter of law. Neither Fuentes nor her daughter has a claim against the Jednats or any other possible defendant in the case, including Lewis.


J. Hill delivered the decision.

Link: .

[SPECIAL NOTE: This opinion uses the "Universal Citation." It was given an "official" citation when it was issued. You should use this citation whenever you cite the opinion, with a P.3d parallel citation. Please note when you look at the opinion that all of the paragraphs are numbered. When you pinpoint cite to a quote, you should cite to this paragraph number rather than to any page number. If you need assistance using the Universal Citation format, please contact the Wyoming State Law Library.]

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