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DASHIELL v. KEAUHOU-KONA Co. - 487 F.2d 957 (9th Cir. 1973)

Rule:

A joint enterprise is voluntarily assumed and arising wholly ex contractu, and the factor of joint control is more readily inferable where the trip is for a business venture than where it is for a pleasure venture.

Facts:

Appellant husband golfer and wife golf cart driver challenged the judgment that barred their recovery for injuries from appellee golf cart company and golf course based on contributory negligence after appellant wife lost control of the golf cart and collided with a truck. Appellant wife made a wrong turn while driving the cart on the golf course. The cart went down an incline, appellant wife failed to turn onto the tee, and collided with a truck that was backing out of the area. The district court held that because appellants were engaged in a joint enterprise, the negligence of appellant wife that barred her recovery was imputed to appellant husband so as to bar his recovery. Appellants argued that the facts did not support a finding of a joint enterprise.

Issue:

Was the negligence of appellant wife golf cart driver be imputed to appellant husband passenger either on the basis of the marital relationship or on the theory of a joint enterprise?

Answer:

No

Conclusion:

The court reversed the judgment and held that there was no joint enterprise based on appellants enjoying a round of golf together. The court held that there was no joint enterprise based on the common recreational interest or any supposed shared right of control of the golf cart. The court held that appellant wife's negligence could not be imputed to appellant husband. The negligence of Mrs. Dashiell may not be imputed to her husband, Mr. Dashiell, either on the basis of the marital relationship or upon the theory of a joint enterprise. The posture of the case is that the jury has found that the golf course defendants were negligent and their negligence was a proximate cause of the accident; and that Mr. Dashiell was not contributorily negligent. Judgment should therefore be entered in favor of Mr. Dashiell and against the golf course defendants on the issue of liability.

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