ProfessorMelissa A. Hale
CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff Mills, cared for the son of Defendant Wyman when he was ill. After Son died, Defendant promised to compensate Plaintiff for the care Plaintiff provided his son. Plaintiff is bringing this action to recover the compensation promised by Defendant.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Past consideration and moral obligation alone are insufficient consideration to make a promise enforceable.
Use of the mails need not be an essential part of the scheme; it is sufficient for the mailing to be incident to an essential part of the scheme, or a step in the plot.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Is Defendant’s promise enforceable?
Held. No. Defendant’s promise is not enforceable because it lacks consideration. Because the services had already been performed before Defendant made the promise, they do not constitute consideration to make the promise enforceable. The Court also addresses the moral obligation of Defendant to pay for the services provided to Son. While the promise would have been enforceable if Son had been an infant, without the additional legal obligation of infancy, the moral obligation is also insufficient consideration.
Discussion. In the present case, Defendant’s promise was not enforceable in the absence of consideration. The Court held that neither the services performed by Plaintiff prior to Defendant’s promise nor the moral obligation of Defendant to pay for Son’s care created sufficient consideration to make the promise enforceable.