A company promised me a deal.
During the course of several years executive staff requested my presence for meetings and this required that I foot my own expenses(air, lodging, food).
I made my position clear, that I would follow their instructions if the company was going to do the deal.
I was informed that the company's CEO was indeed on board and that I come out for meetings and also perform networking at events as this would be seen in a positive light when the CEO was ready to sign the contract.
As time passed there was never any indication other than this was going to move forward.
Since I was not in the best of health and had to cancel medical treatment due to their constant travel requests I made sure they knew this as well.
They finally cut me off and denied knowledge of anything.As a result, I am now faced with physical health issues that will be with me for life. Doctors have advised me that an operation may help, however the risk is too great due to my age. My quality of life is greatly diminished as a direct result of my experience with this company. What are my chances of recovering damages?
I believe that your better approach would be damages for breach of contract, but that too will be an uphill battle. You don't give any indication of what the "deal" was, or whether your are/were an employee or an independent contractor.
Instead, emotional distress in California can be summarized as follows: A cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress exists when there is ‘(1) extreme and outrageous conduct by the defendant with the intention of causing, or reckless disregard of the probability of causing, emotional distress; (2) the plaintiff’s suffering severe or extreme emotional distress; and (3) actual and proximate causation of the emotional distress by the defendant’s outrageous conduct.’ A defendant’s conduct is ‘outrageous’ when it is so ‘extreme as to exceed all bounds of that usually tolerated in a civilized community.’ And the defendant’s conduct must be ‘intended to inflict injury or engaged in with the realization that injury will result.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
Analysis here will require a detailed examination of the facts of your case. The exact terms of the promise are necessary, and much will depend on the E-mail communications between you. The fact that this was several years in the making may actually work against you -- why were you allowing yourself to be led on in this way, without getting reimbursed or paid? On the other hand, it could work in your favor, because you thought there was a deal.
I doubt the emotional distress claim will fly. Those are hard to prove in the commercial/business and contract context. You are more looking at a claim for expense reimbursement and/or loss of profit on the contract. I have no ability to evaluate your chances of success on such a claim. You will need to meet with an attorney and review the case with him or her to obtain such an evaluation.
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