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CalAttorney2
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Category: Business Law
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Experience:  I am a businesses law attorney, with experience advising and representing owners and investors.
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Can someone sue over a promise from an email? I know of a

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Can someone sue over a promise from an email? I know of a business that was sold for just enough to pay off taxes. Each investor recieved the same proportionate loss. One of the investors was emailed, by the owner of the business, that his investment would be covered by a life insurance policy. That insurance policy was never purchased and the business owner past away. Can the person who received the email sue the 77 year old widow for her life insurance policy. She rents doesn't own a home and dosen't work.

William B. Esq. :

Thank you for using our service. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I would like to assist you today.

William B. Esq. :

A contractual promise is enforceable, and you can sue to enforce the same.

William B. Esq. :

An email acts as a writing, and the contract becomes a written contract and is enforceable as such.

JACUSTOMER-e81nv16o- :

So would the widow possibly lose her life savings from the life insurance policy?

William B. Esq. :

A live insurance policy however is exempt from collections (so the widow's primary asset would be exempt from collections in a lawsuit).

JACUSTOMER-e81nv16o- :

Can she be sued anyways? I assume the legal fees could add up and she doesn't have that much.

William B. Esq. :

She can be sued - however she is most likely "judgment proof" meaning that any judgment against her is probably uncollectable (but any assets she may have or may obtain later that are not exempt would be subject to collections).

JACUSTOMER-e81nv16o- :

Do you think she needs a lawyer to defend herself?

William B. Esq. :

From the widow's perspective, if she truly is destitute, she can consider the possibility of a "strategic default" meaning that if a lawsuit is filed, she simply does not respond and allows the court to enter judgment against her (saves money on defending the lawsuit and just lets the judgment be entered).

William B. Esq. :

With that being said, I don't know that the widow is liable in the case you have presented - she is not responsible for her deceased husband's obligations.

JACUSTOMER-e81nv16o- :

She is not destitue but a major law suit would put her at risk that her money wouldn't last her life time.

JACUSTOMER-e81nv16o- :

Do you think the strategic default is a good bet or should she get legal representation?

William B. Esq. :

I cannot give you specific legal instruction or advice - but I can tell you that her liability in this matter is highly questionable, it is possible to defeat a lawsuit where you are the improper defendant through a motion to strike in the very early phase of a lawsuit, an attorney should be able to do this for a relatively small sum. A strategic default in the case of an individual with any collectible assets is usually only advised if there is some amount available to negotiate with or plan to resolve the dispute.

JACUSTOMER-e81nv16o- :

Can they subpena the will and life insurance policy? In addition the company was in a different country. Could the demand to see the records for the foreign business?

William B. Esq. :

Only once the lawsuit is started - they must find the proper defendant in order to start such a lawsuit (not knowing all of the details, I cannot give you this type of detailed information, but the widow is not going to be personally liable unless she was responsible for the contractual obligation or promise herself.

JACUSTOMER-e81nv16o- :

Thank you so much!!!!!!! Have a great night.

William B. Esq. :

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX do the same.

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