At the end of 2006 I put my business up for sale. I had someone that wanted to buy it and I met with them weveral times. While I was in the hospital after childbirth, they sent me an email stating that they were sure that they wanted to buy it, they were preapproved for a loan and they date that they wanted to take over. I was recovering from childbirth and the business was in another town so everything was done through email.
To make a long story short, after they confirmed that they wanted to buy it, I sent them my financial information, let them take pictures of my business and talk with my employees. After that they decided that they would not buy it because of the rent.
I had made plans to stay home after my child was born and when they backed out of our email agreement, I decided to close it down. I am sure my hormones were running wild also. But a lot of it was due to their promise to buy it and take over and then backing out.
After I closed down, I found out they opened another business like mine. Even copied my floor layout (mine was a children's drop-in center) Now I have found out they they are opening up another one and one of my old employees is working there. I am very upset. I would not of given any of that information if they had not said for sure they were buying it. They rent that they are at now is higher than mine was. And I believe they were planning this while they were getting information from me. I also found out that this employee copied down some of my client list.
Is there any recourse I have from this. How binding are email and oral agreements.