law-promissory-estoppel | estoppel law generally | judicial estoppel | equitable estoppel | collateral estoppel and res
judicata | estoppel as affirmative defense | money-had-and-received | quantum meruit theory of recovery | promissory
estoppel theory | promissory estoppel and attorney's fees
PROMISSORY ESTOPPEL THEORY
The elements of a promissory estoppel claim are a promise, the promisor foreseeing that the
promisee will rely on it, and detrimental reliance by the promisee. See English v. Fischer, 660 S.
W.2d 521, 524 (Tex. 1983); Sandel v. ATP Oil & Gas Corp., 243 S.W.3d 749, 753 (Tex. App.-
Houston [14th Dist.] 2007, no pet.).
The requisites of promissory estoppel are: (1) a promise, (2) foreseeability of reliance thereon by the
promisor, and (3) substantial reliance by the promisee to his detriment. Aubrey v. Workman, 384 S.W.2d
389, 393 (Tex.Civ. App.—Fort Worth 1964, writ ref'd n.r.e.).
“Promissory estoppel generally is a defensive doctrine in that it estops a promisor from denying the
enforceability of [a] promise.”
Trammell Crow Co. No. 60 v. Harkinson, 944 S.W.2d 631, 636 (Tex. 1997) (“Promissory estoppel
generally is a defensive doctrine in that it estops a promisor from denying the enforceability of [a]
While a specific, detailed promise might support a promissory estoppel claim, relying on a vague,
indefinite promise of future business is unreasonable as a matter of law. See Allied Vista, Inc. v. Holt,
987 S.W.2d 138, 141-42 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1999, pet. denied); Gilmartin v. KVTV-Channel
13, 985 S.W.2d 553, 558-59 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1998, no pet.); Gillum v. Republic Health Corp.,
778 S.W.2d 558, 570 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1989, no pet.); cf. Montgomery County Hosp. Dist. v. Brown, 965
S.W.2d 501, 503 (Tex. 1998) ("Only when the promises are definite and, thus, of the sort which may be
reasonably or justifiably relied on by the employee, will a contract claim be viable, not when the
employee relies on only vague assurances that no reasonable person would justifiably rely on.").
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).
BIOSILK SPA, L.P., F.K.A. ONE MARENGO, L.P. v. HG SHOPPING CENTERS, L.P.; from Harris County;
14th district (14-06-00986-CV, ___ SW3d ___, 05-08-08) (fraud, fraudulent inducement, negligent
misrepresentation, and promissory estoppel, no reasonable reliance)
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