Dodson v. Shrader

824 S.W.2d 545 (Tenn. 1992)



In reference to a contract of a minor where the minor has not been overreached in any way, and there has been no undue influence, and the contract is a fair and reasonable one, and the minor has actually paid money on the purchase price, and taken and used the article purchased, that he ought not to be permitted to recover the amount actually paid, without allowing the vender of the goods reasonable compensation for the use of, depreciation, and willful or negligent damage to the article purchased, while in his hands. 


The minor was 16 years of age at the time of purchase and used the vehicle for nine months without incident. After nine months, the vehicle had mechanical problems, but the minor continued to drive the truck until the truck's engine "blew up" and the truck became inoperable. At the time of the purchase, there was no inquiry by defendant sellers and no misrepresentation by plaintiff minor concerning his minority. Based on previous common-law decisions, the trial court reluctantly granted rescission of the contract.


Could a non-overreached minor rescind a contract, where he had taken and used the property bought under the contract?




The court remanded and adopted a new rule concerning contracts with minors. Where the minor was not overreached, there was no undue influence, and the contract was fair, the court held that the vendor was entitled to reasonable compensation for the use, depreciation, and willful or negligent damage to the article purchased.

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