Problem statement: Please provide explanation addressed to our client, fully discussing the legal and equitable defenses this case will likely present, and discuss who will likely prevail, and why.
Our firm represents David Johanssen, a doctor specializing in internal medicine.
David worked as a physician's assistant for MegaHosp, a large corporation which owns hospitals throughout the country. He worked for the Rincon County Hospital for years, which is owned by MegaHosp. The local hospital was managed by Paul Vermeer, who was close friends with David father.
Mr. Vermeer was aware that David had considered quitting his job and going to medical school. Mr. Vermeer invited David and his father to dinner many years ago, and describeed that he heard that David wanted to go to medical school, that he [Mr. Vermeer] supported that decision, and that MegaHosp was willing to help. He made the following offer:
1) David would go to an AMA accredited medical school of choice. After graduation from medical school, and passing any state required licensing exam, MegaHosp would reimburse David for tuition, lab fees, book, and room and board related to medical school.
2) David would then go to work for MegaHosp for four years, at the same rate of pay that he earned as a physician's assistant.
Mr. Vermeer provided David with a short, written memorandum containing these terms. He describeed that he had invited David's father to join them both because his father was an old friend and because he realized that David was naïve about contractual matters, and that he wanted David to be able to discuss the matter with his father.
David, his father, and Mr. Vermeer discussed the implications of the offer, which included the significant costs of medical school and the fact that after medical school David would be working for substantially less than a typical doctor would make. After a couple of hours of discussion, David said "I accept" and they toasted the deal.
While in medical school, David periodically corresponded with MegaHosp, providing MegaHosp with copies of receipts showing his medical school related expenses. In 2010, David graduated from medical school and took and passed his licensing exam. Two weeks later, he received a check from MegaHosp for $222,322, which was the exact amount of the receipts that he had provided to MegaHosp over the years. With the check was a brief note from Mr. Vermeer, congratulating David for becoming a doctor, and inviting him and his father to join Mr. Vermeer for dinner the following week.
During their subsequent dinner, David thanks Mr. Vermeer for the check, but describeed that he had had a change of heart, and was committed to providing medical services to the homeless, and that he had taken a job with a clinic in the inner city. Mr. Vermeer responded by saying that he had looked forward to the chance to work with David (now Dr. Johanssen) but that he respected his decision, and that it reflected well on his intergrity and social consciousness. Nothing was said by anyone about MegaHosp's payment of over $200,000.
Almost three years later, Dr. Johanssens' father died. A few months later, just as Dr. Johanssen was completing his third year of work at the clinic, MegaHosp filed a lawsuit against Dr. Johanssen seeking specific performance of the agreement or, alternatively, recovery of the $222,322 it had paid, plus interest. The statute of limitations for breach of contract claims is four years for unwritten contracts and six years for written contracts