The prompt discharge of a contractual obligation is not ordinarily a matter of grave public concern. As a rule, therefore (see ante, Sec. 194), the default of a contractor will not warrant the intervention of a stranger to the contract.4 But if one contracts to support a person who by reason of age or disability is dependent upon the performance of the contract for the necessaries of life, and then refuses to furnish the support, intervention by an appropriate person (see ante, Sec. 196), at least until damages for the breach of contract can be collected, would seem to be dutiful. It was accordingly held, in a New York case,6 that the value of support so furnished might be recovered from the contractor, the court relying chiefly on the analogy to the case of necessaries furnished to a wife or infant child for whom the husband or father improperly neglects or refuses to provide (see ante, Sec. 203). In a Maine case,6 on the other hand, a recovery was denied upon the ground that a person entitled by contract to support, unlike a wife or child, "may in his own name, enforce his rights, and obtain the means of fulfilling his own contracts with others." That he may enforce his own rights is true, but the enforcement of rights requires more or less time, and meanwhile he must be provided with the necessaries of life.
1 Loring v. Bacon, 1808, 4 Mass. 575. And see Cheeseborough v. Green, 1834, 10 Conn. 318; 26 Am. Dec. 396; Wiggin v. Wiggin, 1862, 43 N. H. 561; 80 Am. Dec. 192.
2 Cheeseborough v. Green, 1834, 10 Conn. 318; 26 Am. Dec. 396.
3 1820, 4 Johns. Ch. (N. Y.) 334; 8 Am. Dec. 570.
4 See Johnson v. Boston, etc., R. Co., 1897, 69 Vt. 521; 38 Atl. 267.
5 Forsyth v. Ganson, 1830, 5 Wend. (N. Y.) 558; 21 Am. Dec. 241. And see Rundell v. Bentley, 1889, 53 Hun 272; 6 N. Y. Supp. 609.
6 Moody v. Moody, 1837, 14 Me. 307, 309. And see Matheny v. Chester, 1911, 141 Ky. 790; 133 S. W. 754; Savage v. McCorkle, 1888, 17 Or. 42 ; 21 Pac. 444.