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Contract Law


David is on his way home to Kalamazoo, Michigan, from college at Purdue to celebrate
Thanksgiving with his family. David�s car has a flat tire in a snowstorm and skids into a ditch.
David finds food and shelter with an elderly couple. Two days later, the snowplows cleared the
road, the car is pulled out of ditch, the tire is repaired, and David is on his way home. David�s
mother, Shaina, is so appreciative of the couple�s care for her son that she sends them an email
promising to pay $500. Living on a fixed income, the elderly couple accepts the offer by return
email. David and his mother get into an argument and Shaina refuses to pay couple. Can the
couple hold Shaina liable in contract for the services provided to David?


Consideration: Case Analysis

In order for a contract to be considered binding legally, the aspect of consideration is necessary.
This refers to a legal valuable input, whether monetary or in kind, that the parties involved will
give in exchange for what is achieved in the contract.
Case 1
David and his Mother Shaina cannot be held liable for not paying compensation to the elderly
couple. The act of the elderly couples was merely a volunteering act towards David and not a
contract to perform. Volunteering acts have no consideration or legally binding aspects and it
would not be appropriate for the couple to seek compensation. The elderly couple coming to help
was based on their choice and self-will and as a duty to rescue. On the other hand, Shaina act of
offering a reward or compensation for their service was out of her good will and appreciation.
This can be considered a gift, which according to business law has no consideration and legal
action cannot be taken for the same (McKendrick, 2012). She is not obligated by the law
whatsoever to pay for the service that the elderly provided to her son. Moreover, paying the
elderly would be jeopardizing the volunteer status. According to the duty to rescue, the elderly
couple is labile to help David as a rescue measure but cannot sue David for not compensating for
the service they provided. Hence, the elderly couple cannot hold Shaina or David liable for the
service that the couple offered to David.
Case 2
The case between Eric and Sprint presents the case of a contract where a minor is involved.
According to McKendrick (2012), such a contract where a minor is involved is voidable and the
minor can withdraw at any time. This is because minors are considered as not having the mental

capability to enter into a contract. In Bowling v. Sperry, the facts of the case indicate the
voidability of contracts made with minors on personal property.
In the case of Fred and Fran, Fred is not obligated to buy the new jeep promised because the
legal intent in family agreements cannot be expressly established. In this case, there was no legal
binding to the agreement. Furthermore, Fran did not promise anything in return. In the case of
Jones v. Padavatton, the court decided that the arrangement between mother and daughter could
not be considered as legally binding.
I conclusion, the law of contract provides various provisions as discussed above and each
situation should be based on the legal aspects of the contract.



McKendrick, E. (2012). Contract Law: Text, Cases, and Materials. London: OUP Oxford.

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