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In contracts of beneficence, the intention to confer a benefit is a sufficient consideration.
Plaintiff Baptist Hospital operated a training school for women who desired to become nurses, and it provided a home for the nurses. In the latter part of the year 1926, the Louisiana Nurses' Board threatened to withdraw the standing of the Nurses' Training School unless a new nurses' home was built, declaring the present home unsatisfactory. Plaintiff hospital, not having sufficient funds on hand, through its board of trustees, decided to put on a campaign to raise funds by appealing to the generosity of the citizens of Alexandria and surrounding communities. Defendant doctor, Dr. J.T. Cappel, a practicing physician in the city of Alexandria, signed a pledge card for the sum of $ 500, payable in four installments. Defendant paid the first installment of $ 125 and thereafter refused to pay the other installments, alleging failure of consideration and error and fraud. Plaintiff initiated the present suit. The lower court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, and the defendant appealed.
Under the circumstances, was there a failure of consideration, error, or fraud, which would relieve defendant of liability?
On review, the court found that the contract was valid at the time that the pledge card was signed. The court stated that in contracts of beneficence, the intention to confer a benefit was a sufficient consideration. The court further stated that necessity and sound judgment required the building of the new home to take place at an alternate site. In addition, the court noted that the physician failed to make any objection to the building until time for payment. The court concluded that the physician's purpose in signing the pledge card was to confer a benefit upon the nurses, and that goal was accomplished.