Jury Awards $5.7 million for Promissory Estoppel Claims

When Universal Truckload sent Dalton Logistics, a shipping broker, an Indication of Interest Letter, Dalton halted its plans to shut down the company. Over the next year, Dalton burned its assets to keep the company afloat as Universal Truckload made verbal assurances of a coming deal. As Dalton’s resources dwindled, Universal Truckload increased Dalton’s credit limit and provided their trucks for Dalton’s use on credit. Universal Truckload’s executives disagreed about the purchase of Dalton, and after eighteen months requested that Dalton repay the $1.9 million credit. By this time Dalton, which had been worth $5.7 million when Universal Truckload first mentioned purchasing the company, had no assets and no way to pay back their loan. The jury awarded Dalton $5.7 million in reliance damages, and it awarded Universal Truckload the $1.9 million that Dalton owed. The court awarded Dalton a $1.9 million offset against Universal Truckload’s breach of contract claim. Universal Truckload appealed the verdicts, but the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment in full. Find out why here.