Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff Ruby Tuckwiller entered into an agreement to quit her job and care for the aunt of her husband, Metta Hudson Morrison, in exchange for Morrison willing her Morrison’s Corum farm. Morrison made an appointment to have her will changed, but she was hospitalized and eventually died without the will being changed. The will stated that the farm shall be sold and the proceeds to be used for a student loan fund at Davidson College.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A transaction is to be examined prospectively rather than retrospectively in order to determine whether a contract is unconscionable, requiring a denial of specific performance.
As stated in one of the leading cases the enforcement of contracts of the character here involved is an exception which courts of equity have ingrafted upon the statute of frauds.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Is the contract between Plaintiff and Morrison enforceable against the estate of Morrison?
Held. Yes. In order to determine whether a contract is unfair, inequitable, or unconscionable, the transaction is to be viewed prospectively. Plaintiff quit her job and undertook a serious and difficult obligation of unknown duration. Morrison had someone to care for her for life. Viewing the contract in this light, the agreement was fair, not unconscionable, and supported by adequate consideration.
Discussion. That Plaintiff received somewhat of a windfall by receiving the property without having to actually care for Morrison is of no relevance in a discussion of whether the agreement was unconscionable, unfair, or inequitable. Rather, the trial court must look at the deal as of the time it was consummated.