Bishop v. Eaton

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Bishop v. Eaton, 161 Mass. 496, 37 N.E. 665, (1894).

Facts: Defendant asked Plaintiff to loan money to Defendant's brother, and Defendant would be sure Plaintiff would be repaid. Notice of the load and subsequent non-payment was sent by mail to Defendant but never received, so Defendant never knew that his request had been accepted.

Issue: Was the Plaintiff required to inform the Defendant that he has performed according to the initial offer, when performance was not otherwise obvious?

Holding: Yes, notice is required within a reasonable amount of time. However, Plaintiff did post notice of acceptance--even though that letter never arrived, it was sufficient.

Rule:

  • Acceptance of a unilateral contract must have both performance and notice of acceptance.
  • Notice is properly sent by mail.
    • similar to the Mailbox Rule (effective upon posting).