Home Elec. Co. v. Hall & Underdown Heating & Air Conditioning Co.

86 N.C. App. 540, 358 S.E.2d 539 (1987)



A promise which the promisor should reasonably expect to induce action or forbearance on the part of the promisee or a third person and which does induce such action or forbearance is binding if injustice can be avoided only by enforcement of the promise.


Plaintiff filed suit against defendant for breach of contract. Plaintiff's complaint alleged the existence of a contract between the parties, but failed to allege the existence of any consideration for defendant's promise to perform the work for a specific amount of money. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the suit for failure to state a cause of action pursuant to N.C. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). The trial court determined that there was a lack of consideration to support the contract and thereby granted defendant's motion and dismissed the suit. Plaintiff appealed, contending that the doctrine of promissory estoppel applied in the case, serving as a substitute for consideration. 


Is the doctrine of promissory estoppel applicable in this case?




Affirming the lower court's order of dismissal for failure to state a claim, the court refused to expand the doctrine of promissory estoppel in this case and held that the complaint was not sufficient. Because consideration was required to support the contract, defendant's promise to provide certain services was not supported by any consideration from plaintiff and therefore a contract had not been created.

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