Can a spouse be sued for damages if they are not an owner of the other spouse’s business?

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Can a spouse be sued for damages if they are not an owner of the other spouse’s business?

My husband is a sole proprietor of a remodeling business and I sometimes go along as his helper. A customer of his is unhappy with some work and is suing for damages. She is suing me along with my husband. I feel that legally I am not liable for any damages. Can I file a countersuit or have my name dismissed from the suit?

Asked on July 31, 2012 under Business Law, Indiana

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Maybe but it depends on how she has alleged the allegations against you in the complaint.  Did you help in the installation or some thing else and is she alleging that you are an employee?  Is she alleging that you are an owner and bear liability that way?  If it is the latter then yes, you may be able to make a motion to dismiss in lieu of answering on the basis that you are not a proper party.  Or allege it as an affirmative defense in your answer and then move to dismiss once the answer is served and filed.  Good luck.


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