Lanz v. DeJesus
An individual who starts up his own business and agrees to personally pay back an investor and partner for a loan can be individually responsible, if he fails to pay. The defendant, Ivan Dejesus, decided to start up a business, known as Geko Paintball LLC. In December 2009, Dejesus borrowed $20,000 from an investor and business partner, Todd Lanz. Lanz also used his credit card to purchase $8,000 in materials for the business. The parties agreed that Dejesus would receive 60 percent of any profits and losses, and Lanz would receive 40 percent. They also agreed that Dejesus would pay Lanz $20,000 within one year, and that Geko Paintball would pay Lanz another $20,000 within 366 days. In March 2010, Dejesus informed Lanz that he did not trust him, and the parties agreed that they would no longer do business together. Dejesus attempted to form business relationships with other individuals who might contribute to Geko Paintball. The business was unsuccessful, and Lanz sued Dejesus, alleging that he failed to pay back the loan. The court found that Dejesus personally promised to pay back the $20,000 loan and was legally responsible as a result of their written contract. The court also found that Dejesus was unjustly enriched in the amount of $8,000 that Lanz spent to purchase materials for the business. Lanz failed to sue Geko Paintball as a defendant, and Dejesus was not legally responsible for the $20,000 that Geko Paintball was obligated to pay. The court granted judgment to Lanz in the amount of $28,000.