What to do about a business that I sold?

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What to do about a business that I sold?

I just recently sold my business, a hair salon. Then 3 weeks later the new owner told me that my business partner admitted to having taken items from the salon. Now the new owner wants them back or to be given a refund. What can I do if my business partner does not want to give anything back and is now saying that she took the items because I told her to? There is nothing written or recorded where it says I told her to take the items. It’s her word against mine.

Asked on November 6, 2013 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You can refuse to pay or compensate the new owner and tell her that if she believes your partner took items, that her proper recourse is to sue your partner. Of course, the new owner may still try to sue you, or may sue both of you, forcing you to defend yourself on the basis that there is no cause of action against you (i.e. you did not do anything); or if the new owner does sue your partner, your partner could try to bring you into the lawsuit, claiming (as you indicate) that you were responsible for her acts and therefore are liable to pay. If that happens--if  you are sued, either by the new owner or by your partner--you would then have to decided, based on how much you are being sued for, and how that compares to the cost of defending a lawsuit, whether it might be better or more economical to pay the amount (or settle for some lesser amount that you are willing to pay), rather than spend the time and money on litigation.


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