Unpublished Opinions for the Week of September 4, 2017
CIVIL PROCEDURE | CONTRACTS
07-4-4126 Hermanns v. Hermanns, N.J. Chancery Div. (Contillo, P.J. Ch.) (23 pp.) Plaintiff sought to amend his complaint to add claims in his action against his father over a family company. Defendant father was sole shareholder of family company. Plaintiff served as company president. Plaintiff alleged he quit teaching and began working at family company at father's request and that father repeatedly assured him that he had "sweat equity" in the company and a "secure job." In 2016, father told plaintiff that he had Alzheimer's and both met with father's attorney to discuss transferring ownership of company to plaintiff. The process ended with plaintiff ousted from company. Plaintiff sought to supplement his allegations seeking declaratory judgment and injunctive relief by adding a claim for unjust enrichment and asserting he was promised lifetime employment and "sweat equity." Plaintiff argued there was no prejudice to defendant since the new allegations arose from the same facts and events. Defendant argued that plaintiff's new claims were futile since his allegation of an oral agreement to inherit the business was not cognizable in New Jersey and plaintiff failed to plead the elements of a claim for unjust enrichment. The court allowed the amendment asserting a promise of lifetime employment and claiming unjust enrichment but denied the claim of a right to "succeed" to the business. [Filed Aug. 23, 2017]
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