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I am the owner of a sports and fitness Center. Last year I

created a verbal agreement with...
I am the owner of a sports and fitness Center. Last year I created a verbal agreement with a sports chiropractor (Dr. Roni) to work mutually together on a patient population I originally had. The agreement was that my corporation was to be contracted by her corp. to perform exercise therapy and massage therapy after Dr. Roni diagnosed the patient for medical necessity. My corp. used a team of therapists such as personal trainers / massage therapists to complete the duties needed. Dr. Roni and I agreed to share certain mutual cost such as trainers would be paid $15 so we would divide the cost where my corp pays $7.50 and Dr. Roni would pay $7.50. same went for massage therapists only $20/$20 to equal $40. We also divided the administrative services in 1/3 which covered scheduling, billing, mail, files , etc. After those cost were divided we would split the remaining reimbursement 50%/50%. In which my cost was paid out toward: marketing /administrative services / rent / equipment cost / utilities / as well as management of therapists. Dr. Roni abruptly ended our agreement Thursday through an email and bogus claims of slander. In her email she claims she will only pay for the services done by the therapists but not pay my corp for the additional 50 %/ 50% amount. We have had an invoice pattern for the services rendered for a year now. I have deposit records and tons of documentation to support this truth. We agreed originally that the checks would come to Dr. Roni and then be divided accordingly. We have now around $20,000 coming in the next month for reimbursement on services rendered by my corp. Half of that including mutual cost is rightfully mine. I have no written contract since Dr. Roni refused to sign. Her abrupt end is costly to me. My question is if I send her an invoice for the expected amounts of money owed and she refuses payment , can I take her to small claims court and recover my losses. I know the exact amount owed to me since we do all the administrative service. I just want what is rightfully owed to my company. What do I do?
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
8/5/2013
Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: Run my own successful business/contract law practice.
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Thank you for your question.

This is a very good question. Is there any evidence of this agreement? By 'evidence', can you point to past months or any period of time when the split that you described took place, or did you create the oral agreement but it was never acted upon in any way?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


Yes , we have service invoices (mutual cost) that go back the entire year. These invoices were always given since they were exact amounts. I would pay out upfront on the 1st and 15th each month, Dr. Roni would reimburse me once the billing claims were paid via mail. Dr. Roni would then pay her mutual cost invoice and then give me 50% of what was left. So I was unable to invoice her an exact amount on the 50/50 cut since the amount would fluctuate month to month. I do have copies of the checks written by Dr. Roni that reflect the 50/50 amounts. I even have past emails that clearly indicate this arrangement . This agreement has been acted upon since May 2012 and a paper trail to prove it. In addition can anything be done for lost wages?

Steven,

Thank you for your follow-up. Great, that helps tremendously! If you have a paper trail that you can point to, you can argue that you had an oral agreement and base the terms of that agreement on past invoices and payment history from you and the other party. Then, if the amount owed is under $10,000, you can take him to small claims court. One warning however--if your business is incorporated or is otherwise a business entity of some kind, you may need to retain counsel because business entities are considered separate entities. You, as you are not an attorney, cannot represent separate entities (doing so would be 'Unauthorized Practice of Law'). But if this is a sole proprietorship, and you can prove a past relationship, you can go in front of the judge and demand collections for past payments and also for coverage of past expenses if owed to you.

Lost wages is not possible, I am afraid--as you had no signed agreement there, the other party never formally assured coverage for those wages, which is why such a pursuit is not really actionable.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: Run my own successful business/contract law practice.
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


Okay great. So is the first step of sending an invoice for all the amounts that are to be owed to me via email the correct and legal way ? Should I also send a printed version certified mail ?

Thank you for your follow-up, Steven.

Sending via email is good for notice if the other party responds, but it is not deemed valid 'notice' under law. Sending it via certified letter is far wiser as that creates a proven paper trail, and what I would suggest you do concurrently. If the email is never responded to, the other party can claim that it was never received.

Good luck.

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