law-promissory-estoppel elements | breach of contract | promissory estoppel and statute of frauds |
not to be confused with breach of promissory note | promissory note suit | promissory note proof of damages |
other estoppel theories and related concepts: quasi-estoppel | equitable estoppel | admission | deemed
admissions | stipulation | res judicata | claim preclusion | collateral estoppel | collateral attack
THE ELEMENTS OF PROMISSORY ESTOPPEL AS A THEORY OF
RECOVERY =/= AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
The elements of a promissory estoppel claim are: (1) a promise; (2) reliance
thereon that was foreseeable to the promisor; and (3) substantial reliance by
the promisee to his detriment. Miller v. Raytheon Aircraft Co., 229 S.W.3d 358,
378–79 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2007, no pet.) (citing English v. Fischer,
660 S.W.2d 521, 524 (Tex. 1983)).
Hill v. Hoelke (Tex. App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Mar. 12, 2009)(Taft)
(investment dispute, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, fraud, and promissory estoppel)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Tim Taft
Before Justices Taft, Bland and Sharp
01-07-00702-CV John Hill v. Frederick F. Hoelke and Frederick F. Hoelke, P.C.
Appeal from 151st District Court of Harris County
Trial Court Judge: Hon. Caroline E. Baker
[N]either party disputes that Hoelke made a promise not to disburse the funds deposited in his law firm trust
account without express written instructions from Hill or that Hoelke could have foreseen that Hill relied on that
promise when he deposited his funds. However, Hill claims that he suffered detriment because he never gave
any instructions to Hoelke to disburse his funds, so Hoelke’s release of the funds was a breach of their
agreement. Hill argues that he also suffered detriment because his funds were never returned to him.
As we have already discussed, the evidence supporting the trial court’s conclusion that Hoelke did not breach
his agreement with Hill is both legally and factually sufficient. Hill received two million shares of HTVN stock in
return for his investment. Hill still had the stock at the time of the trial and had never tried to return it to anyone
at HTVN or to Hoelke, nor did he write any letters questioning why he was given the two million shares or send
Hoelke any formal request that his money be returned prior to the filing of his lawsuit in 2004, more than three
years after the transaction took place.
Therefore, we conclude that there was more than a scintilla of evidence supporting the trial court’s findings on
Hill’s promissory estoppel claims, and the trial court’s judgment was not so contrary to the overwhelming weight
of the evidence as to be clearly wrong and unjust. See City of Keller, 168 S.W.3d at 810; Arias, 265 S.W.3d at
Sandel v. ATP Oil & Gas Corp. (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Oct. 30, 2007)(Yates)
(employment, stock options plan, promissory estoppel)
AFFIRMED: Opinion by Justice Brock Yates
Before Justices Brock Yates, Edelman and Seymore
14-06-00323-CV Charles Sandel v. ATP Oil & Gas Corporation
Appeal from 157th District Court of Harris County (Hon. Randall Wilson)
The elements of promissory estoppel are (1) a promise, (2) foreseeability that the promisee would rely on the
promise, and (3) substantial reliance by the promisee to his detriment. Adams v. Petrade Int'l, Inc., 754 S.W.
2d 696, 707 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 1988, writ denied).
Promissory Estoppel theory vs. claim based on existing contract | Mutual exclusivity
The Court encounters the same summary judgment obstacles regarding Plaintiff's promissory estoppel claim.
The elements of promissory estoppel include: (1) a promise; (2) foreseeability of reliance by the promisor; and
(3) substantial reliance by the promisee to his detriment. English v. Fischer, 660 S.W.2d 521, 524 (Tex.1983)
Promissory estoppel is not applicable to a promise covered by a valid contract between the parties; however,
promissory estoppel will apply to a promise outside the contract. El Paso Healthcare Sys., Ltd. v. Piping Rock
Corp., 939 S.W.2d 695, 699 (Tex.App.-El Paso 1997, writ denied). [B]ecause the Court is unable at this
juncture to determine the existence of a valid contract, it cannot determine if the facts supporting promissory
estoppel are already covered by an existing contract. Therefore, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's summary
judgment request on its promissory estoppel claim.
MORE CASELAW ON THE REQUISITES FOR A VIABLE PROMISSORY ESTOPPEL CLAIM
The elements of a promissory estoppel claim are: (1) a promise, (2) foreseeable reliance thereon by the
promisor, and (3) substantial reliance by the promisee to its detriment. See Beverick v. Koch Power, Inc., 186
S.W.3d 145, 152 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 2005, pet. denied).
The statute of limitations for promissory estoppel is four years. Id. §16.051 (Vernon 1997); Farah v.
Mafrige & Kormanik, P.C., 927 S.W.2d 663, 680 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1996, no writ).
Leach v. Conoco, Inc., 892 S.W.2d 954, 959 n.2 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1995, writ dism’d w.o.j.) (“The
elements of promissory estoppel are as follows: (1) a promise; (2) foreseeability of reliance on the promise by
the promisor; and (3) substantial detrimental reliance by the promisee.”). 01-01-00608-CV
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