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.
The liability which is the basis of an account stated must be a debt.1 A liability in tort,2 such as liability for negligence.3 can not be the basis of an account stated. A promise by a prospective buyer to pay the commission which the prospective seller had agneed to pay to a broker, is not an account stated, since no antecedent debt between the parties existed prior to the alleged agreement.4 If the original contract provides for making a deposit, and an I. O. U. is given as security for such deposit instead of money, the transaction does not amount to an account stated.5 If there is no dispute as to the items involved in the transaction, and the only question is one of legal liability,6 as where the only question is that of the liability of the public official for funds which were lost because of the failure of the bank or trust company with which such funds were deposited,7 an agreed statement as to the amount of such deposits can not be regarded as an account stated.
It is not necessary, on the other hand, that the debt which is the basis of the account stated should be incurred under a number of different contracts.8 An account stated may be based on a number of items furnished under a single contract.9 A claim for a specific sum of money under a special contract may be the basis of an account stated.10
9Bjorneby v. Minneapolis Threshing Mach. Co., 66 Mont. 287, 176 Pac. 617; Newburger-Morris Co. v. Talcott, 211) N. Y. 506, 3 A. L. R. 287, 114 N. E. 846.
10Bjorneby v. Minneapolis Threshing Mach. Co., 55 Mont. 287, 176 Pac. 617.
1 Whitehead v. Howard, 2 Brod. & B. 372: Lemere v. Elliott, 6 Hurl. & N. 656; Tucker v. Barrow, 7 Barn. & C. 623; Steven3 v. Tuller, 4 Mich. 387; Thomasma v. Carpenter, 175 Mich. 428, 45 L. R. A. (N.S.) 543, 141 N. W. 569.
2 Whitehead v. Howard, 2 Brod. & B. 372; Pudas v. Mattola. 173 Mich. 189. 45 L. R. A. (N.S.) 534, 138 N. W. 1062.
3 Whitehead v. Howard, 2 Brod. & B. 372.
4 Thomasma v. Carpenter, 175 Mich. 428, 45 L. R. A. (N.S.) 643, 141 N. W 559.
5 Lemere v. Elliott, 6 Hurl. & N. 656.
6 University City v. Schall, - Mo. - . 205 S. W. 631.
7 University City v. Schall, - Mo. - , 205 S. W. 631.
8Knowles v. Michel, 13 East 249; Dolman v. Kaw Construction Co., 103 Kan. 635, 2 A. L. R. 67, 176 Pac. 145
9 Dolman v. Kaw Const. Co., 103 Kan. 635, 2 A. L. R. 67, 176 Pac. 145.
10Knowlcs v. Michel, 13 East 249.