Whether a partnership should be treated as a legal entity has been discussed in connection with the drafting of the Uniform Partnership Act' and its interpretation. It seems that the act is in some respects consistent with the entity theory, particularly in the creation of "tenure in partnership" of the joint property. As to liability of the partnership for tortious injury of a member by the partners or partnership employees, it seems clearly to have adopted the non-entity or aggregate approach. Section 13 provides that the partnership is liable for loss or injury by wrongful act or omission caused --to any person not being a partner in the partnership. This is an application of a general proposition that the participants in a joint enterprise are coprincipals as to the acts or omissions of co-participants and their employees. Under the aggregate view, partners are coprincipals. The negligence of a partner or employee is imputed to all the partners, including a partner injured thereby. He cannot sue himself for his own negligence, nor can he sue himself along with his associates, to all of whom the negligence is imputed. This rule has been carried to the extent of denying a partner injured by the concurring negligence of a third person and his copartner a right of action against the third person, as he is legally charged with contributory negligence. That under procedural rules a partnership or other unincorporated association can be sued in the common name does not alter the substantive law as to liabilities. It makes the association an entity only for procedural purposes.
Judson A. Crane,
Liability of Unincorporated Association for Tortious Injury to a Member,
16 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vlr/vol16/iss2/2