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Background Facts

15 January, 2016 - 09:35

Appellants Leroy Loomis and David R. Shanahan raised and sold cattle in Elko County, Nevada. Each of the appellants had certain responsibilities relating to the cattle business. Loomis supplied the livestock and paid expenses, while Shanahan managed the day-to-day care of the cattle. Once the cattle were readied for market and sold, Loomis and Shanahan would share the profits equally. While Loomis and Shanahan often called themselves the 52 Cattle Company, they had no formal partnership agreement and did not file an assumed or fictitious name certificate in that name. Loomis and Shanahan bring this appeal after an agreement entered into with respondent Jerry Carr Whitehead failed.

In the fall of 2003, Shanahan entered into a verbal agreement with Whitehead, a rancher, through Whitehead’s ranch foreman to have their cattle wintered at Whitehead’s ranch. Neither Loomis nor Whitehead was present when the ranch foreman made the deal with Shanahan, but the parties agree that there was no mention of the 52 Cattle Company at the time they entered into the agreement or anytime during the course of business thereafter. Shanahan and Loomis subsequently alleged that their cattle were malnourished and that a number of their cattle died from starvation that winter at Whitehead’s ranch. Whitehead denied these allegations.