I recently had a client call wanting to sue a consulting firm she had been negotiating with to help her in a start-up business, becuase they had failed to communicate with her for several months in response to her last counteroffer on their proposed consulting contract.
She had just gotten off the phone with the consultant's receptionist, who acknowledged that her counteroffer had been received some time past, but who failed to put her through to any of the principals and gave her no satisfactory response as to what might be the next step in the process if any. My client was so angry and expressed an intent to sue the consulting firm for loss of revenue and bad faith.
I had to advise her to send a letter withdrawing her counter offer and to move on to another consultant or contact. There is no basis for suit, just because someone is unresponsive to a contract proposal. Under contract law, her counter offer amounted to a rejection of the consultant's original proposal and a new offer to contract on the terms with which my client was comfortable. There is no duty to respond to a proposal within any given time or at all for that matter. The period of time she decided to wait for a reponse was up to her, whether a week or three months. It was up to her to decide when to move on and the consulting firm can not be held responsible for any delay she encountered in the process.
The step of withdrawing the counter offer was a precaution to avoid any further complications. Technically, an offer without a specified time limit for acceptance might be accepted at any time and once accepted, may constitute an enforeceable contract.