Epsco introduced Plaintiff’s Exhibit # 5, an application form from “Chavers Welding,” signed by Reggie, seeking a dealership from Sukup Manufacturing. The application, dated January 23, 1997, lists “Gary & Reggie Chavers” as owners of “Chavers Welding.” The application is signed by Reggie. Reggie admits that he signed the dealership application and represented that he was an owner of “Chavers Welding,” but he dismisses his statement of ownership as mere “puffery” on his part. Epsco argues that instead, the application shows that Reggie was holding himself out to the public as being a partner. The trial court’s determination that Reggie’s dealership application supports a finding of partnership by estoppel is not clearly erroneous.
In sum, the trial court was not clearly erroneous in finding that Reggie and Mark held themselves out as partners of CWC and that Epsco detrimentally relied on the existence of the partnership before extending credit to CWC. The appellants argue that even if we find Reggie liable based upon partnership by estoppel, there was scant proof of Mark being liable based upon partnership by estoppel. We disagree. We are aware that some examples of holding out cited in the trial court’s order pertain only to Reggie. However, the representations attributed to both Reggie and Mark are sufficient proof to support the trial court’s finding that both Reggie and Mark are estopped from denying liability to Epsco.
- What is the rationale for the doctrine of partnership by estoppel?
- Gary and Reggie claimed the evidence brought forth to show the existence of a partnership was unconvincing. How credible were their claims?