Civil Procedure – Splitting Cause of Action – Voluntary Settlement of Part of Cause of Action as Bar to Suit
Plaintiff suffered bodily injury and damage to his automobile from a single negligent act of defendant. By voluntary agreement the parties settled plaintiff’s claim as to the property damage only. Thereafter plaintiff instituted this action to recover damages for his personal injuries. Defendant pleaded the property settlement as a bar to the action, and the trial court awarded judgment to defendant. The intermediate appellate court affirmed. On appeal to the state supreme court, held, affirmed. A single wrongful act which inflicts personal injury and property damage gives rise to one cause of action, and a prior judgment for the property claim or a voluntary settlement thereof will, when pleaded, bar an action for the personal injuries. Gregory v. Schnurstein, 212 Ga. 497, 93 S.E. (2d) 680 (1956).