A recent Georgia Court of Appeals case demonstrates the risk of joint ventures failing to carefully define accounting rules in their joint venture agreement. Two trade contractors teamed up to accomplish certain tasks on a job at a wastewater lift station at Fort Gordon. A joint venture agreement provided for an equal split of the profits and losses. Unfortunately, the parties did not define “profit,” and particularly did not define what cost would be deducted in calculating profit. They disputed in particular whether certain large payments to individuals and 15% overhead charges should be deducted in calculating profits.
One party presented the expert testimony of an accountant while the other did not. The party presenting expert testimony asked the court to dismiss the other party’s claim because it was not supported by expert testimony of an accountant. The trial court granted the motion and dismissed the claim.