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4.3-1  Promissory Estoppel

Revised to January 1, 2008

The plaintiff claims that (he/she/it) is entitled to recover based upon a legal principle known as promissory estoppel.

[<If the plaintiff has plead in the alternative:>  For you to find for the plaintiff under this legal principle, you must first find that there was no written or oral contract expressed in words and no contract implied by conduct for <insert precise issue>.  If you find that there was no contract for <insert precise issue> between the parties, you may consider whether the plaintiff is entitled to recover under promissory estoppel.]

To recover, the plaintiff must establish that 1) the defendant made a clear and unambiguous promise to <describe alleged promise>, 2) the defendant reasonably should have expected the plaintiff to <insert facts re: action/forbearance> in reliance on that promise, 3) the plaintiff reasonably <insert facts re: action/ forbearance> based on that reliance, and 4) enforcement of that promise is the only way to avoid injustice to the plaintiff.


Glazer v. Dress Barn, Inc., 274 Conn. 33, 88 (2005); Stewart v. Cendant Mobility Services,Corp., 267 Conn. 96, 104-106 (2003); D'Ulisse-Cupo v. Board of Directors, 202 Conn. 206, 213 (1987); Restatement (Second) of Contracts 90 (1979).  See also Dacourt Group, Inc. v. Babcock Industries, Inc., 747 F. Supp. 157, 161 (D. Conn. 1990).  For a discussion of instructing in the alternative, see Suffield Development Associates Ltd. Partnership v. Society for Savings, 243 Conn. 832, 846 (1998).


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