Allegheny College v. National Chautauqua County Bank
|Allegheny College v. National Chautauqua County Bank|
|Court||Court of Appeals of New York|
|Citation||159 N.E. 173|
|Date decided||November 22, 1927|
|Appealed from||New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division|
Defendant promised to donate to plaintiff college, and they relied on her promise.
About 90% of college student receive student loans and grants. Some students receive endowed named scholarships from donors.
In the 1920s, Allegheny College conducted a fundraising drive.
In 1921, Ms. Johnston promised to have $5,000 out of her estate given to Allegheny College (College) (plaintiff) after her death in order to create the Mary Yates Johnston Memorial Fund. In 1923, she gave $1,000. In spite of this, in 1924, she repudiated her promised pledge.Upon her death, the executor of Mrs. Johnston, National Chautauqua County Bank of Jamestown, New York, ("Chautauqua") didn't pay the balance of the pledged donation.
The College sued Chautauqua for the remaining $4,000 ($70,000 in 2023).Chautauqua won in the trial court.
May endowed named college scholarships from donors form the basis on an enforceable contract?Does a party's acceptance of a portion of a pledged donation constitute sufficient consideration to enforce the promise to pay the remainder of the donation?
Cardozo: Charitable promises aren't enforceable without consideration. A promise must induce the promisee (the College) to sustain a detriment.Courts have used promissory estoppel in charitable donation cases. In this case, the NY court didn't need to apply the doctrine of promissory estoppel, though.
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