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.
It is not necessary that the beneficiary should know that the contract was made for his benefit at the time at which it is entered into between the promisor and the promisee.1 A contract by which a bank agrees with a depositor to pay checks out of certain deposits, may be enforced by the payee of such checks, although he did not know of such contract when he accepted such checks.2 As in the case of other contracts, it is generally held that the beneficiary must accept the contract which is made for his benefit before it has been revoked or before it has lapsed, in order that he may enforce it.3 It is not necessary, however, that he should accept the benefits of such contract in any particular form.4 His act in maintaining an action upon such contract5 is a sufficient assent. No formal assent before the bringing of such action is necessary.6 The third person may accept even though he is then an infant.7 A agreed with B to convey certain realty to C, B's child, on consideration that A might name C. It was held that C's bearing such name down to the time of the suit is such an acceptance that C may sue A on such promise.8 A contract by which the owners of realty, which is sold on foreclosure proceedings, agree that one of such owners shall bid it in for the benefit of all, may be enforced by an infant who is not a party to such contract.9 If the beneficiary has assented to the contract when it was entered into, and especially if he has given up some legal right thereunder, his right to enforce the contract is even more clear.10 If B, the lessor, agrees with A, a contractor, to do certain work upon the leased property, and if the tenant, C, permits the contractors to enter and do such work upon condition that they complete the contract within the time specified, C may enforce a covenant by which the contractors agree to pay a certain sum as liquidated damages in case of delay.11
4 Whitehead v. Burgess, 61 N. J. L. 75, 38 Atl. 802. (The court expressly treated this as analogous to contracts offering rewards to persons not then known.) R. Connor Co. v. Olson (Wis.), 115 N. W. 811.
5 Whitehead v. Burgess, 61 N. J. L. 75, 38 Atl. 802.
1 Ballard v. Home National Bank, 91 Kan. 91, L. R. A. 1916C, 161, 136 Pac. 935; Beattie Mfg. Co. v. Clark, 208 Mo. 89, 14 L. R. A. (N.S.) 822, 106 $. W. 29; Carolina Hardware Co. v. Raleigh Banking & Trust Co., 169 N. Car. 744, 86 S. E. 706 (explained as action against undisclosed principal); Smith v. Pfluger, 126 Wis. 253, 110 Am. St. Rep. 911, 2 L. R. A. (N.S.) 783, 105 X. W. 476; Fanning v. Murphy, 126 Wis. 538, 110 Am. St. Rep. 946, 4 L. R. A. (N.S.) 666, 105 N. W.
1056; R. Connor Co. v. Olson (Wis.), 115 N. W. 811.
2 Ballard v. Home National Bank, 91 Kan. 91, L. R. A. 1916C. 161, 136 Pac. 935.
3 Blake v. Atlantic National Bank, 33 R. T. 464, 82 Atl. 225.
4Tweeddale v. Tweeddale, 116 Wis. 517, 96 Am. St. Rep. 1003, 61 L. R. A. 509, 93 N. W. 440; Gilbert Paper Co. v. Whiting Paper Co., 123 Wis. 472, 68 L. R. A. 956, 102 N. W. 20; Smith v. Pfluger, 126 Wis. 253, 110 Am. St. Rep. 911. 2 L. R. A. (N.S.) 783, 105 N. W. 476; Fanning v. Murphy, 126 Wis. 538, 110 Am. St. Rep. 946, 4 L. R. A. (N.S.) 666, 105 N. W. 1056; Micek v. Wamka, 165 Wis. 97, 161 N. W. 367.
5 United States. North Alabama Development Co. v. Orman, 55 Fed. 18, 5 C. C. A, 22.