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Olivia further to our questions regarding the settlement of…

hi Olivia further to our...

hi Olivia further to our questions regarding the settlement of our dispute over the sale of our greenhouse, when we were in discussions with the purchaser before the actual signing of the offer to purchase, we had an oral agreement with her that my husband and I would not be required to do any heavy work or lifting - we're both in our 70s and have health issues, my husband was in constant pain from an mcl issue in his knee - he did get a knee replacement that fall - and I was in pain with diabetes nerve pain in my feet as well as a chronic bad back and hip. when we started work at the grow location at***** it was with the understanding that the purchaser would be there to assist with any of the work we weren't to do. however she advised us that she and her husband were going to do a complete makeover of the retail houses located at ************** from our location. this left my husband and I to do everything in running the greenhouse. as we had agreed to "help" her which we didn't think implied we were volunteering or that our labour was under mentorship and training and therefore was not paid, we thought we would be paid for our work, which was approx. $33,000.00. the purchaser has now claimed to have signed statements from other volunteers (her family we believe) that we told them we were volunteering, which is not true because we never thought we were volunteering. to be used in court doesn't a statement need to be sworn which would then mean they were committing purgery? also can we claim damages for pain and suffering for the work we did which we feel was out of scope of the oral agreement? how would a ball park dollar value be put on these damages or would it be up to the court to assess. thanks for any help Dianne sherman

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Answered in 42 minutes by:
3/12/2018
Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4,072
Experience: Partner at Kent Law Group, LLC
Verified

Hi Diane :-) Here's the thing... statements from her family members that you "promised" to "volunteer" your services out of the goodness of your heart are, in a word, worthless. I can't tell you what to do, of course, but if someone was threatening to sue me and claiming that their family members would vouch for them I would tell them to go ahead and sue me (but that's just me). An oral promise is frequently worthless for just that reason (because anyone can say anything and there's no proof) - and a "promise" in exchange for nothing in return (whether in writing or oral) is frequently worthless b/c there is no consideration - meaning no exchange of something of value for something else of value. Please let me know if I've answered your question. If I have answered your question, if you wouldn't mind, could you please take a moment to submit a rating so that I receive credit for working with you. If you have any follow up questions I would be *happy* to answer them. Experts only get credit for the time and effort we spend on our answers if you rate positively - 5 stars is definitely appreciated but not required! It DOES NOT cost you anything at all to submit a rating; it just allows me to get credit for helping you - otherwise I get no credit at all. You CAN still ask follow up questions after rating. There may be a lag between your question and my answer; this is because I'm either not at my computer or helping someone else but I assure you I will ALWAYS come back and answer your question.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago

hi olivia have more questions regarding damages as a result of the purchaser's negligence. we have contacted you before regarding the sale of our greenhouse and before any papers were signed, my husband and I had an oral agreement, because of our health issues and age - we were both in our 70s - that we would not be required to do any heavy work such as filling and carrying of pots, carrying filled trays, hauling of bales, etc. when we started work the purchaser informed us she was not going to be at our location but they were doing a makeover of the retail greenhouses which are 4-5 blocks away from where we were working at ****************. it then fell to us to do everything, completely run the greenhouses on railway by ourselves from Monday to Thursday, we also worked Friday to sunday but her family were there and although they weren't helping us they did perform work at that location. the purchaser has also said she doesn't have to pay us as we were under mentorship and training and we volunteered our labour, which we did not. she now says she has signed statements from people that were in the greenhouse that we told them we were volunteering our labour - doesn't a court need sworn signed statements. we never told anyone that as we didn't believe we were volunteer. even if we agree that we were there under mentorship and training or volunteer, hasn't she broken the oral agreement that we wouldn't have to do any of the heavy work. if so could we sue her for pain and suffering, I have diabetic nerve damage in my feet which makes walking very painful as well as a bad back and hip, and my husband had an mcl issue in his knee, he had a knee replacement that fall. do you think we have a claim. thanks for any insight you can give. dianne

Customer reply replied 4 months ago
hi Olivia there was an additional oral agreement between us one being that they could lease our property
that contained the grow operation of the greenhouse by paying for the utilities and property tax and we
would waive a monthly rental. this agreement was honored by both parties. would that in any way make
the other oral agreement binding. we would be the plaintiff in this case. thanks dianne
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
hi again can you explain a little further the value that needs to be attached - on our part it was our
work - does there have to be something on her part?? dianne

Hi Dianne. I'm back... reading what you wrote now :)

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Yes, the court does need signed sworn statements but actually, what I was getting at, is that it doesn't matter whether they do have signed/sworn statements because at most what you did was make a promise - and that does not create a contract if nothing was given in exchange for your promise. And, in your case, if you dispute even making the promise it's very, very hard for a court to say there was a contract.

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One oral agreement wouldn't have an impact of any other oral agreements - but in this case it seems to me that you might want to argue that there was NO oral contract as far as volunteering your time (since that would mean you're not on the hook to volunteer). Please let me know if I've answered your question.

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And just to summarize: a contract requires that both parties give/do/give up/don't do something of value (pay money, agree to refrain from doing something, etc.) and that's why a promise to work for free is not an oral contract - b/c the other party didn't do/give/give up something in exchange for getting the first party to make that promise. S

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
hi Olivia
I think I've got it - because the purchaser didn't give up/do/give/etc. anything we could not have had an oral
agreement to volunteer our labour. I hope this is right. if this is right, does this mean that we can't be
considered as having volunteered therefore all our labour is to be paid? dianne

Yes, you've got it absolutely right :) Because the purchaser didn't give up/do/give/etc. anything we could not have had an oral
agreement to volunteer our labour.

You can be considered to have volunteered your labor before b/c there was no agreement to pay you.

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Because in the same way that there's nothing definitive with respect to your volunteering/not volunteering your time, there's also nothing definitive stating that they will/won't pay you (and how much).

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
ouch are you saying that even though we didn't have an oral agreement to volunteer, they may not have to pay us?
under what circumstances would they have to pay us - we were there in their stead, we completely ran the entire
greenhouse, we worked in pain for 91 straight days. she paid compensation to the lady that picked up our work
after we left on june 11 due to health reasons. is there anything you would see where we may have some leverage
to get paid? thanks dianne

One strategy that some people employ is arguing what’s called unjust enrichment… Which essentially means it wouldn’t be FAIR for them to get the value of your work without pay you. But that can go either way of course. That’s why I try to explain the two sides of the lack of a contract… The ambiguity can work both for and against you.

Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4,072
Experience: Partner at Kent Law Group, LLC
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
thanks Olivia we'll try to impress her with this - it really is true that she didn't have a clue as to anything to do with
running a greenhouse production and operation and we wonder if she does now as she really didn't receive any
mentoring from us which we were willing to give her. our experience in all facets of the business could be a tipping
point. I really appreciate your insight and can I let you know how this turns out. thanks again dianne

It was my pleasure. Definitely let me know how it works out! And if you need anything in the future and you want to reach me directly you can do so by clicking HERE
or by putting "This Question Is For Olivia" before you start typing your question.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
hi Olivia it's Dianne again re the sale of our greenhouse, in the amendment to the offer to purchase the article that
deals with mentorship and training states" subsequent payments of $20,000.00 CAD; paid to Seller January 10, 2018,
January 10, 2019, January 10, 2020, January 10, 2021 for ongoing mentorship and training, pending health of seller.
would this indicate there wasn't any mentorship in 2017 as there was no mention of it in any part of the offer to purchase
or other articles in the amendment thereto. also what is the position on "ongoing" in this case. also as the purchaser has
breached the contract for non-payment of the jan. 10, 2018 payment, how would that effect our having to mentor in
2017. thanks dianne
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
hi olive it's Dianne again regarding the sale of our greenhouse we're just wondering if mentoring and training was in 2017
as the only mention of mentorship and training in our agreement is in the amendment that states 4 installment payments of
20,000 to be paid jan. 10, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. there is no mention of 2017. also what would "ongoing" mentorship
and training mean in a court of law. thanks dianne
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
hi Olivia we have a property that has a perimeter of a part chain link fence and cedar fence that is attached by
dug in posts. does that fence belong to us as property owners or to the lessee. right now she has us locked out
of our property and wondering if we can put our locks on that fence if it does belong to us. there is an asset list
that states part of the assets are the fencing but we're finding out that may not be the case. thanks

Diane, hi. the question you're posting to is closed and this would be an unrelated question that you would need to post as a new question, per the policies of the site. It's a requirement that I have to follow as part of what I'm obligated to by the site. I'd be very happy to answer if you direct the question to me by putting "this Question is for Olivia" or you can just post it as a new question.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
ok this question is for olivia

D​iane, you'll need to open a NEW window. We're currently corresponding in the same thread that we're been corresponding in all month.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
hi Olivia I'm having no luck opening a new window, I've done several requests to as you a questions but your name hasn't
come up. what am I doing wrong? dianne
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B​oth will always take you back to me :)

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