How Can I Sue the US Army for Breach of Contract and Defamation?

Full Question:

How can I initiate a breach of contract/defamation of character lawsuit against the US Army?
03/03/2011   |   Category: Sovereign Immunity   |   State: Washington   |   #24335

Answer:

Generally, a lawsuit is initiated by a filing of a complaint along with payment of required court fees and proof of service upon the other party(ies). Whether or not you can sue the U.S. Army depends on all the facts in your situation. As an active service member, no. As a former service member, it depends on the situation. Due to the complexities of governmental immunity issues that may apply, we suggest you contact a local attorney who can review all the facts and documents involved.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_you_sue_the_US_ARMY#ixzz1FZ9nyN87

Defamation is an act of communication that causes someone to be shamed, ridiculed, held in contempt, lowered in the estimation of the community, or to lose employment status or earnings or otherwise suffer a damaged reputation. Such defamation is couched in 'defamatory language'. Libel and slander are subcategories of defamation. In order to prove defamation, the plaintiff must prove:

1.; that a statement was made about the plaintiffs reputation, honesty or integrity that is not true;
2.; publication to a third party (i.e., another person hears or reads the statement); and
3.; the plaintiff suffers damages as a result of the statement.

Slander is a form of defamation that consists of making false oral statements about a person which would damage that person's reputation. Typically, damages, such as loss of earnings, demotion, firing, denial of benefits, etc. would need to proven to show harm in the workplace.

Libel is a form of defamation that consists of making false written statements about a person which would damage that person's reputation. Some statements while libelous or slanderous, are absolutely privileged in the sense that the statements can be made without fear of a lawsuit for slander. The best example is statements made in a court of law.; An untrue statement made about a person in court which damages that person's reputation will generally not cause liability to the speaker as far as slander is concerned. Case law from various jurisdictions supports the principle that, generally, information released by the police, including reports and records, is considered to be a report of an official action subject to a privilege against a charge of defamation. To prove defamation it must be shown that the person did not have a belief in the statement made, or failed to make a reasonable investigation into its truth.

An unjustifiable failure to perform all or some part of a contractual duty is a breach of contract. A legal action for breach of contract arises when at least one party's performance does not live up to the terms of the contract and causes the other party to suffer economic damage or other types of measurable injury. A lawsuit for breach of contract is a civil action and the remedies awarded are designed to place the injured party in the position they would be in if not for the breach. Remedies for contractual breaches are not designed to punish the breaching party.

The five basic remedies for breach of contract include the following: money damages, restitution, rescission, reformation, and specific performance. A money damage award includes a sum of money that is given as compensation for financial losses caused by a breach of contract. Parties injured by a breach are entitled to the benefit of the bargain they entered, or the net gain that would have accrued but for the breach. The type of breach governs the extent of damages that may be recovered.

Restitution is a remedy designed to restore the injured party to the position occupied prior to the formation of the contract. Parties seeking restitution may not request to be compensated for lost profits or other earnings caused by a breach. Instead, restitution aims at returning to the plaintiff any money or property given to the defendant under the contract. Plaintiffs typically seek restitution when contracts they have entered are voided by courts due to a defendant's incompetence or incapacity.

Rescission is the name for the remedy that terminates the contractual duties of both parties, while reformation is the name for the remedy that allows courts to change the substance of a contract to correct inequities that were suffered. In order to have a rescission, both parties to the contract must be placed in the position they occupied before the contract was made. Courts have held that a party may rescind a contract for fraud, incapacity, duress, undue influence, material breach in performance of a promise, or mistake, among other grounds.

Specific performance is an equitable remedy that compels one party to perform, as nearly as practicable, his or her duties specified by the contract. Specific performance is available only when money damages are inadequate to compensate the plaintiff for the breach.

Promissory estoppel is a term used in contract law that applies where, although there may not otherwise be an enforceable contract, because one party has relied on the promise of the other, it would be unfair not to enforce the agreement. Promissory estoppel arises from a promise which the promisor should reasonably expect to induce action or forebearance of a definite and substantial character on the part of the promisee and which does induce such action or forebearance in binding if injustice can be avoided only by enforcement of the promise. Detrimental reliance is a term commonly used to force another to perform their obligations under a contract, using the theory of promissory estoppel. Promissory estoppel may apply when a promise was made; reliance on the promise was reasonable or foreseeable; there was actual and reasonable reliance on the promise; the reliance was detrimental; and injustice can only be prevented by enforcing the promise. Detrimental reliance must be shown to involve reliance that is reasonable, which is a determination made on an individual case-by-case basis, taking all factors into consideration. Detrimental means that some type of harm is suffered.

Reasonable reliance is usually referred to as a theory of recovery in contract law. It was what a prudent person might believe and act upon based on something told by another. Sometimes a person acts in reliance on the promise of a profit or other benefit, only to learn that the statements or promises were either incorrect or were exaggerated. The one who acted to their detriment in reasonable reliance may recover damages for the costs of his/her actions or demand performance. Reasonable reliance connotes the use of the standard of an ordinary and average person.