Ricketts v. Scothorn
57 Neb. 51, 77 N.W. 365 (Neb. 1898)
- A grandfather told his
granddaughter that she didn't need to work anymore and gave her a
promissory note for $2k.
- The granddaughter
immediately quit her job and remained jobless for over a year.
- Then the grandfather died
without giving her the $2k. She sued the estate for the money.
- The estate argued that there
was never a contract, the $2k was simply a naked promise, and those are
- The granddaughter argued
that she had relied on the money to her detriment (she quit her job), and
it wouldn't be fair to not give her the money.
- The Court found for the
- The Court found that the
grandfather had intentionally influenced the granddaughter to alter her
position for the worse on faith of a note being paid when due.
- Therefore, even though a
contract was never formed, the estate was still liable to pay the money
due to promissory estoppel.
- "The expenditure of
money or assumption of liability by the donee on the faith of the
promise is the true reason for the preclusion of the defendant, under
the doctrine of estoppel."