What to do if I purchased tickets for a group trip I was in charge of and then someone backed out?

UPDATED: Jul 9, 2012

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UPDATED: Jul 9, 2012Fact Checked

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What to do if I purchased tickets for a group trip I was in charge of and then someone backed out?

I got everyones info and purchased non-refundable, non-transferable tickets. After the purchase one backed out and won’t pay. Do I have any recourse? Would I win a small claims suit?

Asked on July 9, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Rhode Island


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You would, based on what you write, seem to have a reasonable chance of winning in small claims court. You would sue on two grounds:

1) Breach of contract--of the (presumably) oral agreement that you would purchase the tickets and he/she would pay.

2) Promissory estoppel--you reasonably took an action to your detriment (buying nonrefundable tickets) based on the other party's representation, or promise, that he/she would pay, when the other party either knew or should have known you'd have to do this.

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