KM counsel were successful in winning summary judgment in Superior Court for Camden County on behalf of its client, an individual who owned a Limited Liability Company that operated a horse farm in South Jersey. The case involved claims of serious and permanent injury to a young boy who sustained head and orthopedic injuries resulting from a fall from a horse at the client’s farm. Claims against KM’s client were that under the “Participation Theory,” recognized by New Jersey as a means of imposing personal liability on members or officers of a corporate or business entity, the client had a duty to implement and enforce safety procedures that would have prevented the accident and resulting injuries. Plaintiff also argued that even if the Court would not find that personal liability under the Participation Theory could attach, the corporate veil should be pierced since KM’s client was the sole member of the LLC and testified as to his involvement in all aspects of the business.
In moving papers and at oral argument, KM was able to convince the Judge that the Participation Theory, while described as a viable means of attaching personal liability to individual members or officers of a business entity, did not apply and could not apply to the facts at hand in the case because there was not evidence of sufficient participation by the client in the alleged commission of the tort. Similarly, the Plaintiff’s corporate veil theory was inapplicable because there had been no evidence developed to warrant this move by the Court.
For further information about this matter, please contact Jay Branderbit at 267-702-1713, or Jbranderbit@kentmcbride.com