In the Matter of McGraw – Case Brief Summary (Wisconsin)

In In the Matter of McGraw (Bankr. W.D.Wis. 1982) 18 B.R. 140, the debtor was involved in an automobile accident while driving his employer's van and trailer rig.

The injured parties and the estates of the deceased brought suit against the debtor and his employer. The issue, according to the court, was whether "the debtor's presence as a defendant in creditors' civil suit is required for an adjudication of the employer's vicarious liability and the apportionment of negligence between the parties." (Id. at p. 141.)

The court concluded that the question must be answered affirmatively because "without the debtor, the plaintiffs cannot establish the requisites of the respondeat superior doctrine, nor can negligence be apportioned among the parties as required by state law." (Ibid.)