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Key information

Supreme Court of North Carolina

Past consideration

AustraliaHarrington v Taylor

36 SE 2d 227 (1945)



D had assaulted his wife (W).  She escaped to P’s house.  D broke into P’s house an assaulted W again.  W knocked D down with an axe and was about to decapitate him when D intervened and, in the process, her hand was badly mutilated by the axe.  D, however, survived and later promised to pay P for her damages.  He payed a small sum then refused to pay any more.  Was there valid consideration for D’s promise to pay P’s damages?



No – the act was ‘voluntarily performed’ (although the Court clearly thought D should feel morally obliged to pay P’s damages!)