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Can I sue for unjust enrichment based on a verbal contract w/proof the person reneged & benefited from my actions & I suffered?

New Brunswick, NJ |
Filed under: Lawsuits and disputes

Ten years ago my elder brother initiated a verbal contract that we would both equally help our aging parents.Time & again during our parents health crises, he used his work and family to excuse himself.Each time, I flew 2000 miles.In 2009 he began outright lying to me.I spent much money and suffered lost wages sporadically over 10 years-especially while our Dad was dying which triggered stress related health issues. I received emails from my brother to thank me for helping "while he couldn't be there"-almost never.In 2012 he abandon our Mom although he makes good money. I believe there's evidence to prove that he benefited financially while I suffered financial & medical injuries (I have flight , financial & medical records) as a result of him reneging on our solemn agreement & handshake.

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

In NJ, there is a 6 year statute of limitations on an oral contract. Additionally, if your brother was in another state at the time you both entered into what arguably was "a contract" to share responsibilities for the care of your parents, there will of course be a debate as to which state's law will control (if different) and even the proper jurisdiction for bringing such a suit. All in all, it seems to me like an uphill battle for any recovery by you against your brother, not the least of which will be your difficulty in even finding an attorney who will take your case. Do you really want to throw more money after what was spent for your parents' welfare, and not your brother's? I think this is a fight you should walk away from. Sorry.

If you think my response is the best response, it would help me if you would indicate that. Also, please note that my responses to question(s) are NOT legal advice from me to you because I am NOT your lawyer, you are NOT my client, and we do NOT currently have an attorney-client relationship. Thanks!

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Posted

There is also the problem of proving the contract. If the agreement is completely verbal in nature, how does anyone know if there isn't a small but important detail on which you and your brother disagree, thus voiding any meeting of the minds, and voiding any contract?

Depending on the amount in controversy, Mr. Castagliuolo makes a good point: some battles are better won simply by walking away.

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