How to hold a business accountable for promised money and products with only verbal and written email/facebook messages agreement?

UPDATED: Aug 13, 2012

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How to hold a business accountable for promised money and products with only verbal and written email/facebook messages agreement?

We recently did contract work for a local silicone mask company. We’ve always had a signed contract agreement for contract work in the past, but this time we did not. We expected the owner of the company to be a stand-up professional and a man of his word. We received an up-front fee for creating the sculpt, with written agreement (through messaging) that we would get the remainder of the money owed with the sale of 4 masks, as well as an unpainted cast of the mask. Since receiving the sculpt he has not been keeping his end of the agreement and is now ignoring us completely. What can we do?

Asked on August 13, 2012 under Business Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can sue him for breach of contract. Oral (often called verbal) agreements or contracts are enforceable, too, in most cases--obviously, they can be harder to prove than a written contract, but from what  you write, you do have some writing (e.g. email, facebook messages) which will help prove the existence and terms of the agreement.

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