The Wisconsin Court of Appeals, Second District, on August 10, 2011, in the case of Ferris v. Location 3 Corp., 2010AP2203, found that agents of a corporation, even when acting within the scope of their corporate authority, could be found personally liable for tortious conduct in the nature of false representation.
In Wisconsin, corporate agents can therefore become personally liable when they make misrepresentations relating to the corporation, even if they are acting within the scope of their authority. In this case, it was alleged that agents of a corporation failed to note on a Property Condition Report that the adjoining property was a contaminated Superfund site. While the trial court found that such agents were acting within the scope of their authority, and thus were protected by the corporate veil, the Court of Appeals reversed, and as Judge Brown put it, “Wisconsin case law has firmly established that individuals are liable for their own tortious conduct.” Judge Brown concluded, “ the defendants in the case cannot hide behind the corporate veil.”
Following Judge Brown’s words, it would appear that corporate agents are responsible for all tortious conduct they commit, regardless as to whether it relates to false representation or other torts.