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Tour Costa Rica v. County Walkers, Inc.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Tour Costa Rica (TCR) sued County Walkers, Inc. (CW) for breach of contract when CW informed TCR that they were going to contract with another company to conduct tours in Costa Rica during the first year of their contract.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    Expectation damages can be awarded in a promissory estoppel case.

    Facts.

    Tour Costa Rica (TCR) contacted County Walkers, Inc. (CW) to design and lead walking tours in Costa Rica. CW and TCR orally agreed to a two-year arrangement. During the first year of the agreement, CW informed TCR that they were going to contract with another company to proceed with tours in Costa Rica. TCR sued for breach of contract and ought damages for anticipated profits from the twelve cancelled CW tours. The trial court granted judgment to TCR.

    Issue.

    Whether expectation damages can be awarded in a promissory estoppel case?

    Held.

    Yes. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed. Expectation damages are appropriate in this case because the harm endured by TCR included the lost profits TCR would have received from tours arranged by CW for the season.

    Discussion.

    Promissory estoppel requires a: (1) clear and definite promise, (2) the promisor intended to induce reliance by the promisee, and the promisee relied to the promisee’s detriment, and (3) the promise be enforced to prevent injustice. Expectation damages are used to compensate the plaintiff for the benefit of the bargain, including lost profits.


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