Is promissory estoppel a breach of contract claim?

Is promissory estoppel a breach of contract claim?

In general, promissory estoppel and breach of contract are incompatible remedies. It is an equitable remedy in which the court instructs a party to refrain from taking contradictory views or making contradictory commitments. A breach of contract, on the other hand, occurs when the specific provisions of an agreed-upon contract are violated. In other words, promissory estoppel can be used to enforce promises that do not exist in isolation but rather as part of a larger agreement or contract. However, it cannot be used to create new contractual obligations or override certain contract terms that would otherwise limit its liability.

For example, assume that I promise you a puppy if you help me move some furniture. We have an agreement; however, I fail to deliver on my promise. I am still liable for the amount promised (unless, of course, the law prevents me from having to pay you). But I did not break any legal contract by making the promise - even though I failed to fulfill it. The same thing applies when I make a promise without any intention of following through. If someone promises to do something important but fails to follow through, they have broken their word but they have not breached any contract with you.

When there is a conflict between promissory estoppel and breach of contract, most courts will prefer breach of contract since promissory estoppel cannot be used to override clear contract language.

Can you sue for promissory estoppel and breach of contract?

Contractual breach is not an equitable remedy. If you have a breach of contract claim, you usually can't pursue a promissory estoppel claim with it. Promissory estoppel cannot be used to create rights that are not expressly stated in the contract. A court will look at the contract as a whole in order to determine if there are any implied promises or obligations attached to its terms. It is important to note that even if there is no express warranty in the contract, the parties may still have entered into a binding agreement by virtue of their conduct. For example, if a seller tells a buyer that a certain car has a certain amount of horsepower and then sells the car with less horsepower than was promised, the court could find that there is an implied warranty that the car's horsepower rating is accurate.

In addition, if you believe that you were wrongfully terminated from your job, you may have a wrongful discharge claim instead. Wrongful termination claims include claims under state law and under the federal Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Under ERISA, for example, employees can bring a civil action against their employers for violations of ERISA's provisions. Employment contracts can be either "at-will" or have a specified duration. If there is no specific term to the employment agreement, then the employer can terminate the employee at any time, for any reason or no reason at all.

What is a "promissory estoppel" in contract law?

Promissory estoppel is a contract law theory that states that a party may recover on the basis of a promise made if the party's reliance on that promise was reasonable and the party trying to recover detrimentally relied on the promise. The main idea behind promissory estoppel is that "[a] person cannot deny liability for a breach of promise merely because the other party has not suffered actual injury as a result of the breach." Instead, "the law requires only that some action be taken by the other party in reliance upon the promise."

In order for promissory estoppel to apply: (1) there must be a clear promise; (2) the promise must be expected to induce action or forbearance of a definite and substantial character; (3) the promise must be made under circumstances such that the promisor should reasonably expect to induce action or forbearance of the character given; (4) the promise must be based on an act or omission by the promisor; (5) the promise must be made with intent to induce action or forbearance of the kind sought by the promise; and (6) the promise must be enforced according to its terms.

What type of damages are awarded in promissory estoppel cases?

A promissory estoppel agreement will normally have the same binding effects on parties as a legitimate contract. If a party breaches an obligation imposed by promissory estoppel, a court may award either reliance or expectation damages. Reliance damages are calculated based on what it would have cost to fulfill the promise. For example, if a company promises to give its employee a promotion after only three months with the company, and the employee loses his job before the end of the year, the company's obligation to promote him has been fulfilled, so it should pay him the salary of a vice president for three months. The employee could claim entitlement to compensation based on the promise made, even though he was fired before it could be broken.

Expectation damages are calculated based on what a reasonable person in the same position would have expected upon making the promise. For example, let's say that Alice makes a promise to Bob that she will help him move into an apartment building across the street from where she works. When Bob moves in, Alice does not help him unload his belongings from his truck. Because Bob relied on Alice's promise to do so, he is entitled to expectation damages equal to the cost of unloading his own belongings.

In addition to reliance and expectation damages, courts have held that parties can also be bound by a promise to perform a future act.

About Article Author

Monica Culver

Monica Culver is a news anchor on a major network. She has been in the business for over 10 years, spending the majority of her time reporting on top news stories. Her work has taken her all over the world, giving her an opportunity to see and experience many things. She loves her job and everything that comes with it, from the stories she covers to the travel she gets to do on the job.

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