Cases Ch16-22 Essay

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Stephanie Van Horn Case 16-4 Issue: On April 26, 1984, Mary Stine loaned her daughter, Mary Ellen Stewart, and son-in-law, William Stewart, $100,000 to buy a home, in exchange for a promissory note for $100,000. Mary Stine only received $50,000 out of $100,000 of the promissory her daughter and son-in-law promised. On October 2, 1992, the Stewart’s got divorced. All marital property was to be disposed and a agreement was made that allowed Stewart to lease the home, but if he sold it he agreed to pay Mary Stine $50,000. The agreement also stated that the divorced couple would each of whom be responsible 50% of the debt. However, Mary Stine did not sign the agreement. Stewart sold the home leaving only $6,801.21 in net proceeds toward the $50,000 debt. Mary Stine sued William Stewart for breach of contract when Stewart failed to make payments like stated in the agreement. The trial court awarded Mary Stine $28,410 in damages because she was an intended third-party beneficiary. William Stewart appealed the decision and the appeals court reversed the judgment because Mary Stine was not an intended third-party beneficiary or creditor beneficiary of the agreement. Mary Stine appealed the courts decision. Rules: The court is trying to determine whether Mary Stine qualifies as a third-party beneficiary, which would mean she is either a “donee” beneficiary or a “creditor” beneficiary. A “donee” beneficiary can enforce a contract only against the promisor. A “creditor” beneficiary may enforce the contract against either or both the promisor and the promise. Analysis: Mary Stine claims that because William Stewart intended to secure a benefit for the remaining balance on the promissory note, this qualifies her as a third-party beneficiary. The agreement made after the divorce of Mary Ellen Stewart and William Stewart shows that William intended to secure a

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