Wilmington Trust Co. v. Sullivan-ThorneAnnotate this Case
Anne Sullivan-Thorne (Defendant) executed a mortgage on her house in favor of IndyMac Bank, FSB. Cambridge Mutual Fire Insurance Company filed an action against Defendant relating to damage done to the home. As part of the litigation, Defendant filed an action against IndyMac seeking to have all insurance proceeds payable to her alone. IndyMac counterclaimed against Defendant, alleging that Defendant had breached the note and mortgage and that Defendant had caused IndyMac not to receive payment of insurance proceeds in an amount sufficient to repair the property. The superior court dismissed IndyMac's counterclaim and entered a final judgment in which the court ordered that Cambridge re-issue the insurance proceeds and make them payable to Defendant alone. IndyMac later assigned the mortgage to Wilmington Trust Company (Plaintiff), who filed this action seeking a judgment of foreclosure against Defendant. The district court entered summary judgment for Defendant, finding that the action was barred by the doctrine of res judicata. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the district court, holding that because Wilmington's foreclosure claim did not present matters that "were, or might have been, litigated" in the earlier action, the court erred in entering summary judgment for Defendant on claim preclusion grounds.