Business Law: Cook vs. Cook

Topics: Marriage, Contract, Contract law Pages: 1 (298 words) Published: July 27, 2012
Business Law
Case Briefing
Citation: The name of the case is Cook v. Cook. Rose Elsten is the plaintiff. Donald Cook is the defendant. The Arizona Supreme Court decided this case in 1984. The citation states that this case can be found in Volume 691 of the Pacific Reporter, Second Series starting on page 664. Facts: As Cook was finalizing his divorce, he and Elsten moved in together in 1969 to Arizona. They lived together for the next twelve years until 1981.They never married but Elsten used Cooks' last name and they represented themselves to the community as husband and wife. Both parties worked during the relationship and pooled their money into two joint accounts. They purchased a house, two cars, a number of shares of stock and owned all of it as joint tenants with the right of survivorship. Then in 1981 Elsten left Cook. Of everything they shared she only received one car and a few hundred dollars, while he retained the balance. Elsten was obviously disappointed and filed a suit against Cook for breach of contract. She stated, “Everything we did and purchased, whether it be a vacuum cleaner or a car, was together as husband and wife. It was just something we agreed on, that is how we were going to do it.”

Issue: Was there a contract between the two parties Elsten and Cook? Is the contract enforceable? Did Donald Cook breach the contract between the two parties?

Decision: Yes, the two parties did have an agreement. There agreement led them to an implied-in-fact contract. The contract is enforceable by means of promissory estoppel which also defeats the claim of Statue of Frauds. Donald breached this contract by not giving remedy to Rose through monetary damages.
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