The obligation of an infant to pay for necessaries being quasi contractual, he is liable without an express contract.4 The law creates an obligation on his part to pay what the necessaries are reasonably worth, but his express contract is voidable.5 If he has given his note or other negotiable instrument in payment, the seller can recover no more than the reasonable value, and on principle, in such a case, there can be no recovery on the note.6 In many jurisdictions, however, anomalously, an action may be maintained upon the contract, but the real value will be inquired into, and the recovery limited to that amount.7

3 Ryder v. Wombwell, L. R. 3 Exch. 93. See, also, Peters v. Fleming, 6 M. & W. 42; Wharton v. Mackenzie, 5 Q. B. 606; Davis v. Caldwell, 12 Cush. (Mass.) 512, per Shaw, C. J.; Johnson v. Lines, 6 Watts & S. (Pa.) 80, 40 Am. Dec. 542; Mohney v. Evans, 51 Pa. 80. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 102; Cent. Dig. § 121.

4 Gay v. Ballou, 4 Wend. (N. Y.) 403, 21 Am. Dec. 158; Trainer v. Trumbull, 141 Mass. 530, 6 N. E. 761; Gregory v. Lee, 64 Conn. 407, 30 Atl. 53, 25 L. R. A. 618. See Keener, Quasi Contracts, 20. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 50; Cent. Dig. §§ 114, 125.

5 Earle v. Reed, 10 Metc. (Mass.) 387; Davis v. Gay, 141 Mass. 531, 6 N. E. 549; Beeler v. Young, 1 Bibb (Ky.) 519; Parsons v. Keys, 43 Tex. 557; Hyer v. Hyatt, 3 Cranch, C. C. 276, Fed. Cas. No. 6,977; Dubose v. Wheddon, 4 McCord (S. C.) 221; Locke v. Smith, 41 N. H. 346; International Text-Book Co. v. McKone, 133 Wis. 200, 113 N. W. 438. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 50; Cent. Dig. §§ 114, 125.

6 Swasey v. Vanderheyden's Adm'r, 10 Johns. (N. Y.) 33; Feuton v. White, 4 N. J. Law, I11; McMinn v. Richmonds, 6 Yerg. (Tenn.) 9; Bouchell v. Clary, 3 Brev. (S. C.) 194; McCrillis v. How, 3 N. H. 348; Henderson v. Fox, 5 Ind. 489; Morton v. Steward, 5 I11. App. 533. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 50, 52; Cent. Dig. §§ 114, 125, 128.

7 Earle v. Reed, 10 Metc. (Mass.) 387; Bradley v. Pratt, 23 Vt 378; Dubose v. Wheddon, 4 McCord (S. C.) 221; Conn v. Coburn, 7 N. H. 368, 26 Am. Dec. 746; Aaron v. Harley, 6 Rich. Law (S. C.) 26; Askey v. Williams, 74 Tex. 294, 11 S. W. 1101, 5 L. R. A. 176; Gutbrie v. Morris, 22 Ark. 411; Trairer v. Trumbull, 141 Mass. 530, 6 N. E. 761. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 50; Cent. Dig. §§ 114, 125.

Same - Ratification And Avoidance

98. Where the contract of an infant is voidable, he may ratify it, and thereby render it binding; or he may disaffirm it, and thereby render it void.

Where the contract of an infant is voidable only, he may ratify it on attaining his majority, and thereby assume the rights and liabilities arising from it; or he may, before ratification, but not afterwards, disaffirm or repudiate it, and thereby escape any liability under it. The reader will remember that such a ratification is an illustration of the class of cases in which a past consideration will support a subsequent promise.8 Some contracts are valid unless they are rescinded. Other contracts are invalid unless they are ratified.