Corporations are ordinarily recognized as legal entities separate and distinct both from their own shareholders, officers, and directors, and from other corporations. There are, however, situations in which the Washington courts will not recognize this separateness. In such cases, the shareholders, officers, directors, or even wholly separate corporations, are held responsible for the corporation's activities. When they have refused to recognize the corporation as a separate legal entity, Washington's courts have employed the "doctrine of disregard." The consequences of the doctrine are not borne by the corporation. Frequently, its underlying liability has already been established. In other cases, the corporation's own responsibility is not an issue. In all cases, the doctrine's remedial power is directed against the shareholders, officers, directors, or other corporations that are "alter egos" of the corporation.
Thomas V. Harris,
Washington's Doctrine of Corporate Disregard,
56 Wash. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlr/vol56/iss2/20