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I am sorry t hear about this situation. The answer is yes. Even if the contract was verbal, provided it was not for longer than a year or for real estate (and a few other things), then it is valid. The onus would be on you however to provide that the contract existed by a preponderance of the evidence, which us 51% or over.
To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state because they all stem from the same common law. A pleading in Court needs at least one cause of action, although it is not unusual to have more than one.
Someone in your situation can sue for breach of contract. The essential elements of a breach of contract cause of action that must be prover are (1) There is a valid contract; (2) The plaintiff performed or tendered performance according to the terms of the contract; (3) The defendant breached the contract; and (4) The plaintiff sustained damages as a result of the breach. Valero Marketing & Supply v. Kalama International, 51 S.W.3d 345, 351 (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] 2001, no pet.).
As a fall back in the same petition, one can also sue for quantum meruit. Quantum meruit consists of: (1) The claimant furnished either valuable services or materials or both; (2) The services and/or materials were furnished to the party sought to be charged; (3) The services and/or materials were accepted by the party sought to be charged, (4) The services and/or materials were furnished and accepted under such circumstances that the party accepting the services and/or materials was reasonably notified that the plaintiff, in performing, expected to be paid by the party who accepted the services and/or materials. Heldenfels Brothers v. City of Corpus Christi, 832 S.W.2d 39, 41 (Tex.1992).
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