Promissory Estoppel Defined
Sometimes an agreement without consideration will be enforced. This happens when a promise which foreseeably induces promisee to act or forebear becomes binding because injustice can only be avoided by enforcement of the promise.
A promise is an assurance, in whatever form or expression that a thing will or will not be done.
The promisee must actually and justifiably rely on the promise by the other.
Promisee must have relied on the promise to his detriment.
The promisee’s reliance must be reasonably foreseeable to promisor.
Injustice Cannot be Avoided
In deciding if injustice can be avoided courts will consider:
Availability and adequacy of other remedies, particularly restitution or
The definite and substantial character of the action or forbearance in relation to
Extent to which the action or forbearance corroborates evidence of the making
and terms of the promise.
Reasonableness of action or forbearance.
Extent to which the action or forbearance was foreseeable by promisor.
Generally, courts treat the subcontractor’s bid as temporarily irrevocable, since the general contractor foreseeably and reasonably relied on the subcontractor bids when he submitted his overall bid, and would suffer a loss or reduced profit if the subcontractor was allowed to revoke his bid.
Promises to Make Gifts
Generally promises to give a gift are not enforceable. However if the promisee relies on the promise to his detriment P. E. doctrine may apply(Greiner v. Greiner- son relied on mother’s promise to give him a tract of land. He gave up his home and moved his family to the tract of land. After living there a year, mother wanted him to leave. Court held that son had relied on the promise to his detriment and the only way to avoid...
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