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.
Some jurisdictions limit this doctrine to cases where the services rendered are purely personal in their nature, and such as would ordinarily be inspired by affection or the sense of duty.1 Thus, it has been held that there is an implied contract to pay for such services as washing, or making and mending clothing rendered between persons living together.2 This doctrine is by its terms limited to services rendered between members of the same family. If the persons are related, but not living together, this doctrine has no application.3 Thus, if a woman who does washing and housecleaning for a living does work of the same sort for her daughter and her daughter's husband, and is not a member of the latter's household, there is an implied agreement on his part to pay therefor.4 So if A, a middle-aged man, works a year for his brother, B, in superintending the building of certain houses for B, and during such period A lives with his own family in one of B's houses, B is liable to pay A a reasonable compensation, even though A had been a guest at B's home for six weeks at the time of the beginning of such work, before his family had rejoined him.5 On the other hand, the mere fact that the persons between whom the services are rendered are living in the same house, is not conclusive that they are members of the same family.6 If the persons who reside in the same house are not so related that one of them is bound in law to support the other, it is, in case of a dispute, a question of fact in what capacity the person who renders the serivces is residing in that house. Thus a nephew who lives with his uncle and renders services in connection with his uncle's business may recover if it can be shown that the board furnished him was in part compensation for the services rendered by him.7 So where a wealthy man supported his second cousin at his house, it was a question of fact for the jury, whether she lived there merely as a member of his family, or whether she was living there as housekeeper; in the latter case there would be an implied contract on his part to pay for her services without any express contract.8 So a nephew may recover for board furnished his aunt, where he shows that she came to his house on a temporary visit, was taken ill while there, and remained there on account of ill health seven months, until her death.9 So, where a person is shown to be living in another's house as a boarder, under an express contract for a compensation, he is liable for services rendered not included in the express agreement, such as nursing in sickness.10 It has, however, been held that where a devise is given A on the condition that she furnish a home for her uncle, B, on the property devised to her, as long as he lives, and she accepts such devise, and her uncle lives with her, a family relation is thereby created between uncle and niece, so that she cannot recover for services in caring for him in the absence of an express contract on his part.11
7 Baxter v. Gale, 74 Minn. 36; 76 N. W. 954.
8Kempson v. Goss, 69 Ark. 235; 62 S. W. 582.
9 Hill v. Hill, 121 Ind. 255; 23 N. E. 87.
1 Walker v. Taylor, 28 Colo. 233; 64 Pac. 192; Graham v. Stanton,
177 Mass. 321; 58 N. E. 1023,
2 Croxton v. Foreman, 13 Tnd. App. 442; 41 N. E. 838.
3 Walker v. Taylor, 28 Colo. 233; 64 Pac. 192; Graham v. Stanton, 177 Mass. 321; 58 N. E. 1023.
4 Lang v. Dietz, 191 111. 161; 60 X. E. 841.
1 Hurst v. Lane, 105 Ga. 506; 31 S. E. 135; Frailey v. Thompson (Ky.), 49 S. W. 13.
2 Frailey v. Thompson (Ky.), 49 S. W. 13.
3 Williams v. Williams, 114 Wis. 79; S9 N. W. 835.
4 Winter v. Greiling, 114 Wis. 378; 90 N. W. 425.
5 Williams v. Williams, 114 Wis. 79; 89 N. W. 835.
6 Gill v. Staylor, 93 Md. 453; 49 Atl. 050; Sprague v. Sea, 152 Mo. 327; 53 S. W. 1074.
7 Gill v. Staylor, 93 Md. 453; 49 Atl. 650.