Salesman Can Sue Dot-Com For Fraudulent Misrepresentation
A salesman, Charles Cohen, who quit his job based upon a job offer from an Internet company, can sue for fraudulent misrepresentation. Cohen met the president of Entangible.com through work. The parties agreed Cohen would join Entangible as Director of Sales with a starting salary of $125,000 plus benefits and bonuses. It was also agreed there was a two year job commitment and, due to the extensive travel required, Cohen’s wife would quit her job to raise the children.
Soon after the agreement, Entangible.com reduced the salary to $100,000 and the parties formed a contract via e-mail. Later that same day, Cohen and his wife quit their respective jobs. The next day, Cohen called Entangible because the e-mail contract did not contain the two year commitment and was told it would be express mailed to him. Having never received the letter, Cohen contacted the company and eventually was told the offer was withdrawn. Neither Cohen nor his wife got their jobs back. The Cohens sued alleging breach of contract, promissory estoppel and fraud.
Entangible.com filed a motion to dismiss the fraud count. The Court rejected the motion and concluded Cohen properly alleged fraud, and therefore could proceed with his claim. This case reinforces the need to carefully word job offers. Companies can be forced to pay for careless or premature job offers.