In the law of contracts, the doctrine that provides that if a party changes his or her position substantially either by acting or forbearing from acting in reliance upon a gratuitous promise, then that party can enforce the promise although the essential elements of a contract are not present.
Certain elements must be established to invoke promissory estoppel. A promisor—one who makes a promise—makes a gratuitous promise that he should reasonably have expected to induce action or forbearance of a definite and substantial character on the part of the promisee—one to whom a promise has been made. The promisee justifiably relies on the promise. A substantial detriment—that is, an economic loss—ensues to the promisee from action or forbearance. Injustice can be avoided only by enforcing the promise.
In other words they allowed her to change her position and incur expenses to set up and run her current business and then once she had developed these customers now want to take her business. She needs to talk to a local attorney since it may be likely the non compete cannot now be enforced as to these specific ten companies.
Hope this helps and I appreciate the opportunity to be of service.
She can find a local business law attorney at
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