Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ricketts v. Scothorn case brief

Ricketts v. Scothorn case brief summary
57 Neb. 51

SYNOPSIS: Defendant executor sought review of the judgment awarded by the District Court of Lancaster County (Nebraska) in favor of plaintiff payee in an action based upon a promissory note made by the decedent.

FACTS:
-The grandfather of the payee made and delivered to the payee a promissory note.
-The note was given as a gratuity, to enable the payee to give up her employment.
-Upon the grandfather's death, the payee sought recovery on the note from defendant executor.
-The trial court awarded judgment to the payee.
-On appeal, the court affirmed the judgment.

HOLDING:
-The court held that, although there was no valuable consideration for the note, there was an equitable estoppel, which precluded the executor from alleging that the note in controversy was lacking in one of the essential elements of a valid contract.

ANALYSIS:
-The payee's grandfather intentionally influenced the payee to alter her position for the worse on the faith of the note being paid when due.
-Thus, it would be grossly inequitable to permit the maker, or his executor, to resist payment on the ground that the promise was given without consideration.

OUTCOME: The court affirmed the judgment entered by the trial court in favor of the payee in her action against the executor on a promissory note made by the executor's decedent.

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