Thursday, August 18, 2011

When is an equitable estoppel claim viable? No brightline standards or criteria


When will a court go along with invocation of equitable estoppel to do justice?
Texas law includes a number of variations on the general principle of equitable estoppel. See, e.g., Meyer v. WMCO-GP, L.L.C., 211 S.W.3d 302, 306 (Tex. 2006) (interdependent and concerted misconduct estoppel); In re Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., 166 S.W.3d 732, 739 (Tex. 2005) (orig. proceeding) (direct-benefit estoppel); In re Polymerica, LLC, 271 S.W.3d 442, 449 (Tex. App.-El Paso 2008, orig. proceeding, pet. struck) (substantial- benefit estoppel); Cook Composites, Inc. v. Westlake Styrene Corp., 15 S.W.3d 124, 136 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2000, pet. dism'd) (quasi-estoppel).

Estoppel is an equitable doctrine and its application depends on the facts of each case. Van Zanten v. Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., 320 S.W.3d 845, 848-49 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2010, no pet.) (citing In re Weekley Homes, 180 S.W.3d 127, 134-35 (Tex. 2005)). The lynchpin for all equitable estoppel is equity. Hill v. G E Power Sys., Inc., 282 F.3d 343, 349 (5th Cir. 2002).

SOURCE: Dallas Court of Appeals - 05-11-00634-CV - 8/18/11

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