Is an agreement via email to pay for car repairs enforceable after 4 years?

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Is an agreement via email to pay for car repairs enforceable after 4 years?

About 4 years ago, my neighbor of 20 years while parking his car, accidentally slid sideways into my car. Then 2 years ago I took my car to a body shop for a repair estimate (about $1,300). The neighbor refused to discuss the repairs with me directly, so the discussion was conducted via a third neighbor. I have an email from them that states: “Will talk with xxx tomorrow night and sign off on his decision regarding my expenses”. Is this “agreement” still enforceable now, despite the 3-year statue of limitation for property damage? He no longer wants to pay.

Asked on August 5, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, that is not an agreement, unfortunately--an agreement (to be enforceable) must clearly demonstrate a "meeting of the minds," or that all the parties to the agreement have agreed on all its terms. The email you cite shows an ongoing discussion--even that an agreement may be close--but does not show that the neighbor unequivocally agreed to pay you money.


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