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If the consideration, even without request, moves directly from the plaintiff to the defendant and inures directly to the defendant's benefit, the promise is binding, though made upon a past consideration.
A bull was impounded, it escaped, and it wandered onto the plaintiff Bishop Boothe’s property. Boothe made inquiries in order to ascertain who the owner was, but he did not comply with all the statutory requirements. Subsequently, Boothe learned who the owner was and he contacted him. Defendant Martin Fitzpatrick stated that he would pay for the keeping of the bull, but he did not take the bull. The bull stayed with plaintiff for a while, then Fitzpatrick came and retrieved it. Fitzpatrick made another promise to pay, but never did. Boothe instituted the present action in order to recover from defendant. The trial court ruled in favor of Boothe. On appeal, Fitzpatrick asserted that the consideration for the promise to pay was insufficient because it was past consideration.
Under the circumstances, should the defendant pay to plaintiff?
On appeal, the Court upheld the trial court's judgment. The Court noted that it was clear that the defendant was required to pay for the keeping of the bull that occurred after he promised to pay the plaintiff. According to the Court, the defendant was liable to the keeper for the time before the promise was made because the plaintiff parted with what was of value to him and it inured directly to the benefit of the defendant. The Court concluded that the defendant waived his objection to the plaintiff’s failure to advertise the discovery of the bull because he made an express promise to pay.