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Splitting of Causes

A plaintiff shall not split a single cause of action and file separate suits on a single cause of action.  The rule against the plaintiff splitting a single cause of action is, in part, an application of the doctrine of res judicata.  Violation of one primary right constitutes a single cause of action, although it entitles the plaintiff to several reliefs.  However, if the plaintiff suffers both personal injury and property damage, there are two causes of action.  Moreover, only a single cause of action arises for the entire item of property damaged as a result of one tortious act. [Allstate Ins. Co. v. Mel Rapton,inc, 77 Cal. App. 4th 901 (Cal. App. 3d Dist. 2000)].

In Coastal Oil & Gas Corp. v. Garza Energy Trust, 268 S.W.3d 1 (Tex. 2008), the court held that a subsequent suit must be abated when there exists a complete identity of parties and controversies between it and a prior suit. Otherwise, abatement of a lawsuit due to the pendency of a prior suit is based on the principles of comity, convenience, and the necessity for an orderly procedure in the trial of contested issues, matters committed to the sound discretion of the trial court in the first instance.

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