Can a sue for my money, lost wages and depression?

I had a verbal agreement with a guy who owns a car lot. We agreed for him to lease me a truck for my company I was starting for $8,000 finance which I gave home $2500 cash for a down payment. The agreement was for him to rent me his abandoned building free as long as I cleaned it up to make it business like again and that I detail his cars which he would also pay me $500 a week for that would pay for the payment. He said that if I brought him $2500 cash, went to get my LLC which I was already in the process of doing, get a phone number and a big banner to put on the building that he would later parter with me and go 60/40 in the business. He then said how am I a partner because I’m letting you rent the shop free and my chemicals and equipment. So I did everything as agreed and so far I’ve held up to my end of the agreement but he hasn’t. After a week of driving the truck, I told him the muffler was making a noise and he said that he would give me my money back and so far it’s been over a month in a half since I’ve opened for business and I’m out of my money no company vehicle and I haven’t been able to work in the shop do to busted pipes. He won’t give me my money back.

Asked on March 5, 2018 under Business Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) If he violated his obligations, you can sue for the return of money you paid him: he can't take or keep your money without doing what he is supposed to do.
2) In theory could sue for lost wages or profit, BUT would have to be able to prove by a "preponderance of the evidence" (or that it is more likely than not) that you would have made the money. That is *very* unlikely with a new or unproven business venture, since there is no "track record" or other historical evidence that it would have made money or how much money--i.e. you are very unlikely to be able to prove your case.
3) You cannot sue for depression in cases involving (essentially) breach of a contract or agreement; that is simply not a type of "damage" or injury you are provided compensation for in such cases. Also, the existence of  depression not always being easy to prove, and its causes being so complex (rooted in biology, in your life history, in your entire current life circumstances) that you will never prove a sufficient causal link between his actions and the depression: i.e. you cannot, as a scientific matter, prove that any one event caused depression.


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