As the remedy of assumpsit was extended to cover cases where originally debt would have been the appropriate remedy,79 and as no attempt was made to extend the remedy of assumpsit to promises express or implied to pay for rights of action in tort, except on the theory of waiver of tort, it is natural that where the Statute of Limitations was in question the same line should have been drawn. Just as a promise to pay for a tort would not have been regarded in the seventeenth century as sufficient to enable the plaintiff to get redress in assumpsit, so later if the Statute of Limitations had barred an action for a tort, the English court denied effect to the promise.80 And the same doctrine has been consistently followed in the United States.81 If, however, a tort feasor has become liable on principles of quasi-contract to pay for a benefit which he has tortiously acquired, a new promise may revive his liability on this quasi-contractual debt, which might have been enforced at common-law in an action of indebitatus assumpsit.82 It has been held also that a new promise made before the Statute has run on a liability in tort, may estop the defendant to plead the Statute when subsequently sued for the tort, if the plaintiff relying on the promise has delayed in bringing his action until after the Statute of Limitations has run,83 but there are decisions opposed in principle, which hold that a new promise to pay a debt, ineffectual as a promise, cannot be effective as an estoppel.84 The propriety of treating such a new promise as enforceable for a new statutory period according to its terms must depend upon whether such a promissory estoppel as exists in the case is to be generally accepted as a substitute for consideration or at least to support any promise to surrender a right.85 But on well-settled principles of waiver 86 the defendant should not be allowed to assert his defence until the plaintiff has had a reasonable time to sue after the promises or representations 'of the defendant have ceased to justify delay. On this view a new promise to satisfy a liability in tort would justify a reasonable prolongation of the plaintiff's right, but not like a new promise to pay a debt, for the whole of a new statutory period.87
76Buckingham v. On, 6 Col. 587; Sennott v. Homer, 30 111. 429. See also Abner v. York, 19 Ky. L. Rep. 643, 41 S. W. 309; Mowry v. Saunders, 33 R. I. 45, 80 Atl. 421; Saber v. Richards, 61 S. C. 393, 39 S. E. 540.
77 See supra, Sec.Sec. 181, 182.
78 Harding v. Covell, 217 Mass. 120, 104 N. E. 452.
79 See supra, Sec. 143.
80 This was so held in Hurst v. Parker, 1 B. A Ald. 92. See also Tanner v. Smart, 6 B. A C. 603, 005; Gibbons v. McCasland, 1 B. A Ald. 690; Short v. McCarthy, 3 B. A Ald. 626.
81 Goodwyn v. Goodwyn, 16 Ga. 114; Nelson v. Petterson, 229 111. 240, 82 N. E. 229; Peterson v. Breitag, 88 Iowa, 418, 55 N. W. 86; Holtham v. Detroit, 136 Mich. 17, 98 N. W. 754; Galligher v. Hollingsworth, 3 H. & McH. 122; Brand v. Longstreet, 1 South (4 N. J. L.), 325, 328; Oothout v. Thompson, 20 Johns. 277; Reilly v. Sabater, 26 N. Y. Civ. Proc. Rep. 34, 43 N. Y. S. 383; Armstrong v. Levan, 109 Pa. 177,1 Atl. 204; Avant v. Sweet, 1 Brev. 228; Ott v. Whitworth, 8 Humph. 494.
82 Hony v. Hony, 1 Sim. & Stu. 568; Mooes v. Taylor, 6 Muckey (D. C), 255. These cases involved the question of liability on new promises to pay the proceeds of converted goods.
83Holman v. Omaha, etc., Ry. & Bridge Co., 117 Iowa, 268, 90 N. W. 833, 62 L. R. A. 385, 94 Am. St. Rep. 293; Renackowsky v. Board of Water Commissioners, 122 Mich. 613, 81 N. W. 581; Armstrong v. Levan, 109 Pa. 177,1 Atl. 204, and see supra, Sec. 139.
84 Green v. Coos Bay Wagon Road Co., 23 Fed. 67; Mann v. Cooper, 2 D. C. App. 226,238; Langdon v. Doud, 10 Allen, 433; Shapley v. Abbott, 42 N. Y. 443,1 Am. Rep. 548.
85 See supra, Sec. 139.
86See infra, Sec.Sec. 679, 680.
87 In Ennis v. Pullman Palace-Car Co., 165 111. 161,46 N. E. 430, the court said:-"Where the parties expressly agree together to suspend legal remedies for the purpose of making inquiry into the merits of a disputed claim, or for the purpose of effecting an adjustment thereof, or in order to await the result of negotiations in reference thereto, advantage should not be taken of the Statute of Limitations in respect to the time employed for such purpose; but a party should not be allowed to trust too long to the anticipated out-tome of such proceedings and until his right to legal remedies has been lost by lapse of time. East India Co. v. Paul, 7 Moore's Priv. Counc. Cas. 85; Gooden v. Amoskeag Fire Insurance Co., 20 N. H. 73; Amy v. Watertown, 130 U. S. 320,32 L. Ed. 953,9 Sup. Ct. 537; Randon v. Toby, 11 How. 493, 13 L. Ed. 784; Gaytord v. VanLoan, 15 Wend. 308; Utica Ins. Co. v. Blood-good, 4 Wend. 652; Shapley v. Abbott, 42 N. Y. 443,1 Am. Rep. 548; Crane v. French, 38 Miss. 503."