Unable to finish a business contract
Dear Respected Sirs,
Recently I was offered a business proposal by one of the foreign companies regarding designing and completing an electronic circuit project.
I got enticed by the proposal since it was a major project and promised to offer a long term profitable business to me.
I had to provide them two documents signed:
The first document was a confidentiality document in which I promised them that I would hand over all the circuit details to them on finishing the project, and never share anything about the circuit design with anybody. I comfortably signed and submitted this document to the concerned person.
The second document was the project invoice, in which I gave them the bill of materials and costs required for completing the project.
I knew that the project was a complex one and therefore in the invoice I clearly mentioned that in a worst comes to worst situation if I failed to complete the project I may not be liable to any form of claims whatsoever, and in such a case I would not refund the material cost, nevertheless I would surely consider refunding them the labor costs involved in such a scenario.
In the invoice I quoted $250 for material cost, and $200 for the labor. Total $450.
I was paid around $350 in advance, and I started designing the circuit, and procured all the required materials from various online stores.
However after completing 70% of the project I realized that it was consuming a lot of time and hard work, and also the parameters involved were hazardous to my home electrical.
I also realized that since I had signed a contract in which I needed to handover all the technical details to the company, that implied I would never get any long term manufacturing orders from them, since on getting the technical details they would be able to manufacture the unit from their end.
Therefore understanding the unfavorable situation, I ultimately contacted the concerned person and expressed my desire to quit the project, and handover the 70% of the details which I had completed.
I provided him all the material cost invoices and requested him to hire another engineer and expressed my willingness to work with the other engineer and help out to finish this project ......completely free of cost.
Since all the money is already spent in purchasing the material, as per my initial condition I cannot refund the material cost, I only have around $50 left with me, and I am ready to refund it to the party.
Hearing this the concerned person has turned hostile, and is forcing me to either finish the job or get ready to face criminal charges against me.
So far I have not earned a penny throughout this technically and physically laborious job, and instead of being thankful to me for providing the 70% job free of cost, the person is blaming me and threatening me of legal consequences.
I would request the expert team here to please help me to sort out this issue.
Asked 5 years ago in Business Law
Thank you for your prompt reply!
In their papers they have never mentioned anything regarding refunding any amount under any circumstances, they only mentioned that I had to keep the circuit idea confidential, and hand over to them all the technical details on completion.
It is me who informed that in case I was not able to complete the project i may refund only the labor charges and not the material charges.
But since I have not used a single $ as labor charges, I am in no position to return anything to them.
I have $50 left me which I can definitely refund back, and also as per my initial statement I am ready to handover all the materials bought for the project, along with all the technical details absolutely free of cost.
Asked 5 years ago
Thank you for the expert answers,
On what grounds the civil matter can be conducted, since I have not signed any legal papers except the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) and the invoice. Moreover in the invoice I have clearly mentioned regarding my terms and conditions which is as follows:
Note#1: In a worst comes to worst situation, if I fail to succeed with the project, the labor charges will be fully refundable.
However the material charges will not be refundable. At the most I can hand it over physically to an appointed personnel who may have to visit my workshop for collecting the remaining materials.
Barring the above conditions, I may not be subject to any other form of claims from the buyer under any circumstances, whatsoever.
An engineer or a scientist can work with peace of mind only when he or she is assured that even if his experiment fails he/she will not be under any legal bindings, in my case my 70% of the experiment has been successful so far, I have only requested the party to finalize the remaining 30% at their end with my assistance due to some underlying apprehensions, and for all these effort I am not charging any compensation,.... in return this guy is calling me a cheater.
Please advise what should I do to close this matter?
Asked 5 years ago