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.
An infant's contract in compromise of a claim due to him, whether contract,1 or tort,2 is voidable. On his avoiding such contract whatever he has received under the compromise is to be credited upon his claim.3 So a contract by an infant to allow a note given by her to a deceased testator to be deducted from a legacy given to her by the will of such testator is voidable.4 It has even been held that the return of the property received under the compromise is a condition precedent to avoiding it.5 Moreover, although an infant is liable for his torts, his contract in compromise of a claim against him for his tort is voidable, and upon his avoiding it he may recover whatever he has parted with thereunder, leaving the other party to his original right of action.6 A release given by an infant to her guardian on taking his note by way of settlement of her claim against him has been said to be void, and hence not to release the sureties on his bond.7 Since even an executed contract of compromise is voidable, a contract to arbitrate is also voidable ;8 and some authorities have even said that it is void.9
6 Fetrow v. Wiseman, 40 Ind. 148; Wills v. Evans (Ky.), 38 S. W. 1090; Owens v. Long, 112 Mass. 403; Johnson v. Storie, 32 Neb. 610; 49 N. W. 371; Harner v. Dipple, 31 O. S. 72; 27 Am. Rep. 496; Reed v. Lane, 61 Vt. 481; 17 Atl. 796.
7 Reed v. Lane, 61 Vt. 481; 17 Atl. 796.
8 Harner v. Dipple, 31 O. S. 72; 27 Am. Rep. 496.
9 Fetrow v. Wiseman, 40 Ind. 148; Owens v. Long, 112 Mass. 403; Johnson v. Storie, 32 Neb. 610; 49 N. W. 371.
1 Commonwealth ex rel. Strayer v. Hantz, 2 Pen. & W. (Pa.) 333.
2 Mattei v. Vautro (Q. B.), 78 L. T. Rep. 682; St. Louis, etc., Ry. v. Higgins, 44 Ark. 293; Pittsburg, etc., Ry. v. Haley, 170 111. 610; 48
N. E. 920 (settlement made by next friend without leave of court) ; Baker v. Lovell, 6 Mass. 78; 4 Am. Dec. 88; Bonner v. Bryant, 79 Tex. 540; 23 Am. St. Rep. 361; 15 S. W. 491.
3 See cases cited in two preceding notes.
4 In re Cummings' Estate, 120 Ia. 421; 94 N. W. 1117.
5 Lane v. Coal Co., 101 Tenn. 581; 48 S. W. 1094.
See Sec. 888.
6 Ware v. Cartledge. 24 Ala. 622: 60 Am. Dec. 489: Shaw v. Coffin, 58 Mo. 254; 4 Am. Rep. 290. In oppo-sition to this view. Ray v. Tubbs. 50 Vt. 688; 28 Am. Rep. 519, holds that an infant's note given in a fair compromise of a tort commuted by him is valid.