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Law School Resources

Walkovsky v. Carlton, (1966)

1. Walkovsky v. Carlton, (1966); pg. 338, briefed 2/24/97


2. Facts: Carlton owns several taxicab corporations. Each corporation owns two taxicabs.  Each taxicab corporation carries the statutory minimum of $10,000 of insurance per cab.  Each corporation is also highly leveraged.  Carlton observed all of the legal formalities of operating these corporations.  Walkovsky was injured by one of the taxicabs, and the amount of insurance was not enough to pay his medical bills.


3. Procedural Posture: Walkovsky brought this action to "pierce the corporate veil" and hold Carlton personally liable for his damages.

4. Issue: Whether a claim that does not allege that the owners are conducting business in their personal capacities through the corporation is sufficient to state a cause of action for owner liability.


5. Holding: No.


6. Reasoning: It is a general rule that whenever anyone uses control of the corporation to further his own rather than the corporationís business, he will be liable for the corporations acts upon the principle of respondeat superior.  In such a case, the corporation is merely and "enterprise entity" for the owners' individual business ends.  However, in the present case, there was no allegation that the owner was operating the corporation in his own personal capacity.  Whether the insurance coverage is sufficient is a matter for the legislature.