Is This A Breach of Contract?

Picture it, if you will:

You and your spouse are home. Let’s say it’s a Saturday evening. By some crazy miracle your kids are away for the night. You’re enjoying your rare alone time. Maybe eating dinner, watching a movie, or having adult conversation normally peppered with calls of ‘mommy, ‘daddy’. Suddenly, there’s a commotion in your yard. You run to the door to see what’s going on. There, in your yard, you see a vehicle has spun out of control and crashed. Your immediate thoughts are to make sure the driver isn’t injured. As you go to approach the vehicle, a man jumps out, running towards you, obviously frantic and freaked out.

You probably make sure he’s okay, offer assistance in phoning for the police and an ambulance. You’re thinking he must have sustained a head injury as he’s babbling about people chasing after him, trying to kill him. Then you wonder if he’s paranoid as he adds that it might be the police who are after him.

As you’re gathering your wits and thoughts, he brandishes a knife and tells you and your spouse to get back in the house. You do as he says because you’ve went from being a good Samaritan to someone whose life is in danger. As you back up in the house, confused and scared, you might give a silent prayer of thanks your children aren’t home.  The stranger directs you into the living room. He begins to tell you wild and crazy stories. They’re jagged, out of chronological order and just plain don’t make sense.

You try to be reasonable, remain calm, and show him you are NOT a threat. You suspect he might have a gun as well as a knife. You even become hospitable, offering him food, a listening ear along with nods of agreement to his babbling. You might even watch a few of his favorite t.v. shows. As the hours drag by, he asks you at one point, to promise not to turn him into the police.

You give him your word you won’t turn him into the police. Eventually, this crazed knife-wielding stranger falls asleep from exhaustion. When you find the opportunity to escape, you hightail it from your house and call the police. In the midst of the commotion of the man being apprehended, he is shot. He lands in the hospital. You find out later, he is wanted for the murder of someone.

Things gradually start to become more normal, although you have lost a piece of the security and safety you once felt in your own home before this man barged in. As you’re attempting to put the ordeal behind you, you get slapped with a lawsuit.

From the crazed man with a knife who held you and your spouse hostage for hours.

He alleges you breached the oral contract the three of you had. You broke your word by contacting the police. On top of that, because of your call to the police, he was shot and now has a huge hospital bill. That he feels you are responsible for.

Sound crazy? You bet it does, but it’s actually a true story.

Can you imagine, some man putting you through all of that just to have him turn around and sue you?

So, what would you do? Would you keep the supposed contract or would you have escaped and called the police like the couple?

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