Liability of Partners and Joint Venturers

Generally, each member of a partnership or joint venture is vicariously liable for the wrongful conduct of another member if the wrongful conduct occurs within the scope and course of the affairs of the partnership or joint venture. Therefore, each member of a partnership or joint venture will be liable for personal injuries caused by another member’s negligence if the negligence occurs within the scope and course of the affairs of the business.

For example, A and B form a general partnership for the purpose of establishing a chain of tanning salons. A and B buy a company car with partnership funds. While driving to a partnership meeting in the company car, B runs into a pedestrian. The pedestrian files a personal injury action against both A and B. If the pedestrian establishes that the accident was a result of B’s negligence, then both A and B will be liable for the pedestrian’s injuries because the accident occurred within the scope and course of the affairs of the partnership. Therefore, the pedestrian may recover damages from either A or B, or both of them.

Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.