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Law School Site - Case Brief


Webb v. McGowin Ala. 1935


Web was the plaintiff. The executor of McGowin’s estate was the defendant. Weeb was cleaning the upper floor of a mill ans was about to drop a heavy weight to the floor below. He noticed McGowin, and to avoid from hurting him, Webb fell himself and sustained permanent injuries. McGowin promised to pay Webb a monthly sum for life, which payments were made for eight years. Mcgowin then died and the payments stopped. Webb sued the executor of McGowin’s estate. The defendant was granted a nonsuit. Webb appeals.


Is a moral obligation sufficient to support a promise?


Judgment reversed. Yes, moral obligation is sufficient to support a promise.


When the promisor receives a material benefit, (in this case the avoidance of injury,) and the promisee suffers a material detriment, (in this case permanent disability,) then moral obligation is sufficient to support a promise.


All participants in the study group must always follow the BSL Honor Code.