D's son was 25 years old and was an independent. On a sea voyage, he became ill and was attended to by the P.
D's son died on the voyage, and the D offered to pay P for the expenses incurred by his son.
D then withdrew offer and P sued.
Lower court found for D.
Supreme Judicial Court of MA affirmed, found for D.
If a party promises, after the fact, to pay for services rendered to a non-minor relative, is the promise enforceable?
A promise, after the fact, to pay for services rendered to a non-minor relative is not enforceable.
There was no consideration for the promise.
A mere verbal promise made without any consideration cannot be enforced even if it is in bad taste to not enforce the promise.
For promises that lack consideration, the execution of such promises are left up to the consciences of the ones who make them.
Moral obligation is not a basis for an effective promise; there must be some preexisting obligation to form the basis of an enforceable promise.
"But when the child shall have attained to manhood, and shall have become his own agent in the world's business, the debts he incurs, whatever may be their nature, create no obligation upon the father; and it seems to follow, that his promise founded upon such a debt has no legally binding force."