Pownall v. Cearfoss

In Pownall v. Cearfoss, 129 W. Va. 487, 40 S.E.2d 886 (1946), the Court did note the existence of certain "distinguishing elements or features" essential to the creation of a joint venture: As between the parties, a contract, written or verbal, is essential to create the relation of joint adventurers. . . . To constitute a joint adventure the parties must combine their property, money, efforts, skill, or knowledge, in some common undertaking of a special or particular nature, but the contributions of the respective parties need not be equal or of the same character. There must, however, be some contribution by each party of something promotive of the enterprise. . . . An agreement, express or implied, for the sharing of profits is generally considered essential to the creation of a joint adventure, and it has been held that, at common law, in order to constitute a joint adventure, there must be an agreement to share in both the profits and the losses. It has also been held, however, that the sharing of losses is not essential, or at least that there need not be a specific agreement to share the losses, and that, if the nature of the undertaking is such that no losses, other than those of time and labor in carrying out the enterprise, are likely to occur, an agreement to divide the profits may suffice to make it a joint adventure, even in the absence of a provision to share the losses. (129 W. Va. at 497-98, 40 S.E.2d at 893-94.)