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Verification letters support estoppel argument

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A series of verification letters from a subcontractor to a contractor provided the grounds for the doctrine of promissory estoppel from being applied to commercial transactions.

Sterling Commercial Credit – Michigan LLC, Hammert’s Iron Works Inc., and National Steel Erectors Inc. entered into a maze of contractor and subcontractor agreements to do construction work at the Veteran’s Administration Outpatient Clinic in Evansville.

As part of those agreements, Sterling purchased invoices from NSE and Hammert’s verified the validity of the invoices. Hammert’s tried to impose payment conditions on the second invoice and did not pay the third invoice.

On appeal, Sterling argued that since Hammert’s had sent verification letters, it was estopped from denying payment on the third invoice and placing payment restrictions on the second invoice.

In Sterling Commercial Credit – Michigan, LLC v. Hammert’s Iron Works, Inc., 49A02-1306-PL-513, the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed. It found that Hammert’s did make promises that it would not assert claims to reduce the value of the invoices. Also, there was detrimental reliance when Sterling believed Hammert’s verification that NSE had done the work.
 

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  1. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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