Trial Tested. Results Driven.

Attorney Greg Deans and Attorney Katie Stepp
  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Business Litigation
  4.  » If a CEO makes a mistake, do we sue the CEO or the company?

If a CEO makes a mistake, do we sue the CEO or the company?

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | Business Litigation

In Texas, when a CEO or c-suite executive makes a misstep that impacts another business, determining the appropriate legal recourse involves careful consideration of various factors. The affected party might contemplate suing the individual executive, tapping into the executive’s professional liability insurance or taking legal action against the company itself. Each avenue presents distinct considerations, but which avenue depends on the facts of the case.

Individual accountability

Under certain circumstances, an executive may bear personal responsibility for their actions, particularly if they acted beyond their authorized capacity or engaged in intentional misconduct. For instance, if a contract is signed in the executive’s name without clear indication of their representative role, they could be held personally liable for breach of contract.

Professional liability insurance

Executives often maintain professional liability insurance to safeguard against claims arising from professional negligence or wrongful acts. Though not compulsory, professional liability insurance is strongly recommended in Texas. This coverage serves as a vital safeguard for professionals against claims stemming from their professional services.

This insurance can cover legal defense expenses and any resulting settlements or judgments, provided the claim falls within the policy’s coverage. If a business chooses to hold the executive personally accountable, making a claim to their professional liability insurance may be an effective and quicker way to find a resolution.

Suing the company

In many instances, the affected party opts to pursue legal action against the employing company. This is because companies typically bear responsibility for their employees’ actions within the scope of employment. Nevertheless, there exist scenarios where executives may face personal liability, which is why these questions need a nuanced examination of corporate structures, actions and options.


Choosing the appropriate legal recourse hinges on the specifics of each case. Affected parties should explore their options thoroughly and determine the optimal course of action.