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Kim v. Son

California Court of Appeal, Fourth District
WL 597232 (2009)


Facts

Stephen Son (defendant) was the sole owner of Netouch International Inc. (Netouch), and was the majority owner and the operator of MJ, Inc. (MJ). Jinsoo Kim (plaintiff) invested in MJ and loaned funds to both MJ and Netouch. Son did not personally guarantee any of Kim’s loans or his investment. The businesses eventually failed without Kim recouping his money. In October 2004, Son and Kim met at a sushi bar and became intoxicated. Son pricked his finger with a pin and wrote to Kim, in blood, “Sir, please forgive me. Because of my deeds you have suffered financially. I will repay you to the best of my ability.” Later that day, Son wrote in pen that he promised to repay Kim, to the best of his ability, approximately 170,000,000 won (the currency of South Korea). In June 2006, Kim sued Son for defaulting on the “promissory note.” After a bench trial, the trial court ruled in favor of Son on the grounds that the “blood agreement” was not an enforceable contract. Kim appealed.

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Holding and Reasoning (O’Leary, J.)

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