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Promissory Estoppel Definition

What Is Promissory Estoppel?

Promissory estoppel is the rightful principle that a promise is enforceable by law, even if made without formal consideration when a promisor has made a betoken to a promisee who then relies on that promise to his subsequent detriment. Promissory estoppel is intended to stop the promisor from discussing that an underlying promise should not be legally upheld or enforced. The doctrine of promissory estoppel is part of the law in the United Shapes and other countries, although the precise legal requirements for promissory estoppel vary not only between countries but also between assorted jurisdictions, such as states, within the same country.

Key Takeaways

  • Estoppel is a legal principle that keeps people and occupations from, essentially, going back on their word or promise.
  • Promissory estoppel helps injured parties to salvage on promises made that have led to economic loss when not met.

Understanding Promissory Estoppel

Promissory estoppel set outs to enable an injured party to recover on a promise. There are common legally-required elements for a person to make a claim for promissory estoppel: a promisor, a promisee, and a harm that the promisee has suffered. An additional requirement is that the person making the claim—the promisee—must have reasonably relied on the potential. In other words, the promise was one that a reasonable person would ordinarily rely on.

Another requirement further readies the required detriment component; the promisee must have suffered an actual substantial detriment in the form of an economic collapse that results from the promisor failing to deliver on their promise. Finally, promissory estoppel is usually on the other hand granted if a court determines that enforcing the promise is essentially the only means by which injustice to the promisee can be ameliorated.

Examples of Promissory Estoppel

An example of promissory estoppel might be applied in a case where an employer makes an articulated promise to an employee to pay the employee a specified monthly or annual amount of money throughout the full duration of the employee’s retirement. If the staff member then subsequently retires based on a reliance on the employer’s promise, the employer could be legally estopped from not sending on his promise to make the specified retirement payments.

Promissory Estoppel as a Part of Contract Law

Contract law generally requires that a yourself receive consideration for making a promise or agreement. Legal consideration is a valuable asset that is exchanged between two details to a contract at the time of a promise or agreement. Ordinarily, some form of consideration, either an exchange of money or a promise to refrain from some performance, is required for a contract to be legally enforceable. However, in attempting to ensure justice or fairness, a court may enforce a promise unbiased in the absence of any consideration, provided that the promise was reasonably relied on and that reliance on the promise resulted in a detriment to the promisee.

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