Alzado v. Blinder, Robinson & Co., Inc

In Alzado v. Blinder, Robinson & Co., Inc. (Colo. 1988) 752 P.2d 544, a limited partnership was formed to promote an exhibition boxing match. (Id. at pp. 546-547.) At trial, the evidence established that the limited partner (a corporation) used its office "as a ticket outlet, gave two parties to promote the exhibition match and provided a meeting room for many of the limited partnership's meetings. The president of the limited partner personally appeared on a television talk show and gave television interviews to promote the match. The limited partner made no investment, accounting or other financial decisions for the partnership; all such fiscal decisions were made by . . . the general partner." (Id. at p. 552.) The question was whether this evidence was sufficient to establish the limited partner's participation in the control of the limited partnership business. The jury found it was. The limited partner moved for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The trial court denied the motion. The Supreme Court of Colorado held that denial was error. It found that even viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prevailing party (the creditor of the partnership who sought to impose general partner liability on the limited partner), a reasonable jury could not have found as it did. The appellate court reasoned: "The evidence established at most that the limited partner engaged in a few promotional activities. It does not establish that it took part in the management or control of the business affairs of the partnership." (Ibid.)