This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
13 See Sec. 589 et seq.
14 See Sec. 643.
1 Burleson v. Mays, 189 Ala. 107, 66 So. 36. If no suit is pending, there must be "some reasonable ground for the controversy." Burleson v. Mays, 189 Ala. 107, 66 So. 36 [citing, Allen v. Prater, 35 Ala. 169; Crawford v. Engram, 157 Ala. 314, 47 So. 712].
2 Moon v. Martin, 122 Ind. .211, 23 N. E. 668; Sanford v. Huxford, 32 Mich. 313, 20 Am. Rep. 647; Kendall v. Rossi, 35 R. I. 451, 45 L. R. A. (N.S.) 985, 87 Atl. 186.
3Boswell v. Gillen, 131 Ga. 310, 62 S. E. 187.
4 Crawford v. Engram, 157 Ala. 314, 47 So. 712.
1Illinois. Parker v. Enslow, 102 111. 272, 40 Am. Rep. 588. (A claim for damages for putting gunpowder in smoking tobacco as a practical joke, causing an explosion which injured the claimant.)
Kentucky. Kelly v. Peter & Burg-hard Stone Co., 130 Ky. 530, 113 S. W. 486.
Louisiana. Maseey v. W. R. Pickerseduction of his wife;2 a contract for settling claims for damage to property, as by collision;3 by excavation of adjoining property under the landlord's authority, causing injury to the tenant's goods;4 by constructing a dam, thereby backing up water;5 or where there is a dispute about the cause' of the fall of a building;6 or as to the rights of adjoining mine owners to cross veins;7 or as to rights under an oil lease;8 contracts for settling disputes as to the amount due between the parties,9 such as disputes as to extras under a contract;10 or for settling disputes as to the validity of transfers of property;11 a dispute over a patent though it proves to be invalid;12 or a dispute as to mutual accounts;13 or a dispute as to the amount really due on a usurious contract,14 as to a contract for the sale of personalty,15 as to the ownership of property,16 as to the validity of a note,17 as to the liability of a surety on a bond,18 as to liabilities on a broken contract between husband and wife for her support,19 or as to the liability of a person to support his pauper father,20 or as to a right to reopen a decree of divorce,21 ing Lumber Co., 136 La. 688, 67 So. 552.
Michigan. Stearn v. R. R., 112 Mich. 651, 71 N. W. 148; Sax v. Ry., 125 Mich. 252, 84 Am. St. Rep. 572, 84 N. W. 914. (In this case a promise to employ the injured person for life or during his ability to work was upheld.)
Missouri. Reid v. St. Louis & San Francisco R. Co. (Mo.), 187 S. W. 15.
2 Sloan v. Davies, 105 la. 97, 74 N. W. 922.
3 The Cayuga, 59 Fed. 483, 8 C. C. A. 188.
4Dunton v. Niles, 95 Cal. 494, 30 Pac. 762.
5 Levis v. Improvement Co., 105 Wis. 391, 81 N. W. 669.
6 Brodek v. Farnum, 11 Wash. 565, 40 Pac. 189.
7 Coffee v. Emigh, 15 Colo. 184, 10 L. R. A. 125, 25 Pac. 83.
8Kiefer Oil & Gas Co. v. McDougal, 229 Fed. 933, 144 C. C. A. 215, Ann. Cas. 1916D, 343.
9 Williamson v. Yager, 91 Ky. 282, 34 Am. St. Rep. 184, 15 S. W. 660.
10Pederson v. Tacoma, 86 Wash. 164. 149 Pac. 643.
11 Stoutenberg v. Huisman, 93 la. 213, 61 N. W. 917; Harris v. Gates, 121 Mich. 163, 79 N. W. 1098.
12 Gloucester, etc., Co. v. Cement Co., 154 Mass. 92, 26 Am. St. Rep. 214, 12 L. R. A. 563, 27 N. E. 1005.
13 The settlement of a dispute between husband and wife for interest on her money and for rents collected by him is a consideration for her release of dower. McKenzie v. Sifford, 48 S. Car. 458, 26 S. E. 706.
15 Hansen v. Gaar, 63 Minn. 94, 65 N. W. 254; Hoey v. Ross, 189 Mich. 193, 155 N. W. 375.
16 De Marco v. Williams (Miss.), 12 So. 552.
17 Tyson v. Woodruff, 108 Ga. 368, 33 S. E. 981.
18 Fink v. Bank, 178 Pa, St. 154, 56 Am. St. Rep. 746, 35 Atl. 636.
19 Dunbar v. Dunbar, 180 Mass. 170, 94 Am. St. Rep. 623, 62 N. E. 248.
20 Brandon v. Jackson, 74 Vt. 78, 62 Atl. 114.
21 Hughes v. Hughes, 162 Ky. 505, 172 S. W. 960.
or as to rights under a will;22 a compromise of a contract which was invalid by reason of the Statute of Frauds;23 a compromise of rights under a contract which is claimed to be voidable for fraud;24 an agreement, made after verdict in favor of an injured employe against his employer, between such employer and an employers' liability insurance company which had insured him in an amount less than the amount of such verdict, by which the employer agreed to pay four-ninths of the amount that such employe might recover either on another verdict or by way of compromise;25 waiver of right to file a mechanic's lien, whether the sub-contractor was entitled to the lien or not;26 agreeing voluntarily to repay the amount received from the sale of stock which the vendee seeks to rescind on the ground of fraud;27 a promise to pay an additional sum over and above the contract price for the right to remove certain trees, the right to remove which, under the original contract, was in dispute;28 a liability claimed to exist for commissions in effecting a sale and denied on the ground that such sale was made on Sunday;29 a contract by which one of the joint occupants of government land, with intention of acquiring legal title thereto, agrees to pay a certain amount as his "share of the expense of erecting a dwelling house" on such land;30 a compromise of a dispute as to the validity of a conveyance to a trustee which the grantor claims to have been obtained by fraud,31 possess sufficient consideration. If A claims in good faith that B has not performed a contract, and accordingly A refuses to make payments according to the terms of such contract unless C guarantees the performance by B, A's payment is consideration for C's guaranty.32 A promise by the possessor of land, the title to which was in dispute, to store the Crops until the litigation concerning the title is settled, is consideration for a promise to pay him for his services.33 A compromise of a dispute as to the validity of a will is a sufficient consideration.34 Disinherited heirs threatened to contest a will. There was some doubt about the construction of a clause which might give to A either a life estate in both real and personal property, or an absolute interest in the personal property, the remainder being given to B as trustee for a religious organization. B believing that A had such absolute interest and wishing to avoid litigation, entered into a contract with A, by which A was to have the personal property absolutely and a life interest in the real property. A had claimed that the will gave an absolute interest in the personal property to A, but A was unwilling to contest such will, and opposed the efforts of the disinherited relations of the testator to contest it. If A died intestate and without issue leaving any of such personal property, it would pass to some of the persons who were threatening to contest such will. It was held that no consideration existed for such contract.35 So where one who had stored some cotton in a warehouse and during a fire rescued some bales, agreed to return it to the warehousemen on being paid the value of services rendered by him in saving it, it not being practicable to identify it, a sufficient consideration for such promise exists.36 If a claim is doubtful and there is a genuine dispute as to its validity, a tender by the debtor of a certain amount less than that claimed by the adversary party in full of the account is an offer of compromise and if accepted discharges the claim.37
22 Shellberg v. McMahon, 98 Kan. 46, 157 Pac. 268.
23 York v. Westall, 143 N. Car. 276, 55 S. E. 724.
24 Nelson v. Stewart, 174 Mich. 127, 140 N. W. 544.
25 Frankfort Marine, Accident & Plate Glass Ins. Co. v. Witty, 208 Pa. St. 560, 57 Atl. 990.
26 Wells v. Brown, 67 Wash. 351, 121 Pac. 828.
27Burne v. Lee, 156 Cal. 221, 104 Pac. 438.
28 Hurst v. Taylor (Ky.), 107 S. W. 743.
29 Brown v. Jennett, 130 la. 311, 106 N. W. 747.
30 Waring v. Loomis, 35 Wash. 85, 76 Pac. 510.
31Jones v. Abbott, 228 111. 34, 81 N. E. 791.
32 A. M. Carapau Realty Co. v. Len-hardt, 164 Mich. 83, 128 N. W. 1078.
33 Meyer v.. Livesley, 56 Or. 363, 107 Pac. 476 [rehearing denied, 56 Or. 383, 108 Pac. 121].
If a claim is unliquidated or is in dispute, and a check is tendered in full, and is accepted, it operates as a discharge of the entire debt, in jurisdictions in which sending a check "in full" is regarded as an offer of compromise,38 even if the party who accepts the check expressly declares that it is merely on account,39 or that a balance is still due.40 Even if the creditor has the check certified, but does not use it, such certification so alters the rights of the parties as to discharge the original debt41
34 Burleson v. Mays, 189 Ala. 107, 66 So. 36; Layer v. Layer, 184 Mich. 663, 151 N. W. 759.
35Moeller v. Poland, 80 O. S. 418, 89 N. E. 100.
36 Seals v. Edmondson, 73 Ala. 295, 49 Am. Rep. 61.
37 Cunningham v. Standard Construction Co., 134 Ky. 198, 119 S. W. 705.
38 United States. O'Brien v. American Agricultural Chemical Co., 229 Fed. 387, 143 C. C. A. 507; Swindell v. Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co., 230 Fed. 438, 144 C. C. A. 580.
Arkanas. Longstreth v. Halter, 122 Ark. 212, 183 S. W. 177.
Colorado. New York Life Ins. Co. v. MacDonald, 62 Colo. 67, 160 Pac. 193.
Iowa. Schultz v. Farmers' Elevator Co., 174 la. 667, 156 N. W. 716; Shahan v. Bayer Vehicle Co., 179 la, 923, 162 N. W. 221.
Michigan. Hoey v. Rose, 189 Mich. 193, 155 N. W. 375.
Nebraska. Crilly v. Ruyle, 87 Neb. 367, 127 N. W. 251.
New Jersey. Decker v. Smith, 88 N. J. L. 630, 96 Atl. 915.
New York. Fuller v. Kemp, 138 N. Y. 231, 20 L. R. A. 785, 33 N. E. 1034.
North Carolina. Bogert v. Henderson Mfg. Co., 172 N. Car. 248, 90 S. E. 208.