If the court were to adopt promissory estoppel as applicable in the context of the sale of goods, the court would allow parties to circumvent the Uniform Commercial Code.
Appellant brought suit against appellee for breach of contract. The basis of appellant's dispute was that it had entered into an oral price protection agreement with appellee. Appellant was in the paving business and purchased liquid asphalt from appellee company. Appellee subsequently informed appellant that the price of the liquid asphalt was increased. Thereafter, appellant incurred out-of-pocket expenses in acquiring the asphalt to perform existing contracts. The trial court found that there was an oral contract between the parties but the statute of frauds, Wash. Rev. Code. § 62A-2-201, rendered the contact unenforceable.
Can an oral contract be enforced based on the doctrine of promissory estoppel over a sale of goods?
On appeal, the court addressed whether an oral promise within the statute of frauds could be enforceable on the basis of promissory estoppel. The court held that promissory estoppel could not be used to overcome the statute of frauds in the sale of goods.