Goodman v. Dicker

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia, 1948.

169 F.2d 684.

Dawson, pp. 278-279


Facts: The defendants told the plaintiffs that they would be able to have a franchise selling radios.  In reliance on this promise, the plaintiffs hired salesmen and tried to sell radios.  However, the defendants changed their minds.  The plaintiffs sued.


Issue: Can the plaintiffs recover on promissory estoppel even though the franchise agreement, if performed, would have been “at will”?


Rule: “[O]ne who acts to his detriment on the faith of conduct of the kind revealed here should be protected by estopping the party who has brought about the situation from alleging anything in opposition to the natural consequences of his own course of conduct.”


Analysis: The court finds that the trial court was correct in awarding the plaintiffs damages based on how much they spent in reliance on having the franchise and being able to sell radios.  The defendants, however, are found to be not liable for lost profits on an initial order of radios.


Conclusion: The judgment was affirmed.


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