Burke v. Five Point Gun Club

A-1541-98T2 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 1999) (Unpublished)
  • Opinion Date: July 14, 1999

PARTNERSHIPS; JOINT VENTURES—A hunting party is not a joint venture for the purpose of making all of the hunters jointly liable for an injury to one of them caused by another.

A five person hunting party divided into two groups. Three persons acted as “drivers” whose role was to drive the deer toward the two others, who were “standers,” those who stood waiting for a deer to emerge from the brush so that they could then shoot the animal. When a deer ran toward one of the standers, the other stander shot at the deer but hit the first stander instead. The injured hunter argued that he and the other members of the hunting group were engaged in a joint venture, joint enterprise or partnership and consequently the three drivers had absolute liability for his damages even if they were not at fault. The Court dismissed this argument as being so clearly without merit that it did not require discussion.