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Gold v. Salem Lutheran Home Association Case Brief

Summary of Gold v. Salem Lutheran Home Association, Cal, 1959.

Plaintiff: Executive of deceased’s estate.

Facts: -84-year-old Mr. Gold wanted to be a resident in life care home.

-He moved into home on Aug. 1st as probationary period and paid for Aug. and Sep.

-Board of directors to have a meeting to determine P’s eligibility for staying there.

-Resident and board signed contract and he pre-paid the fee, he then died of stroke.

Procedure: -Ct below, at trial without jury, ruled in favor of Defendant, Luthern Home.

-Relatives appeal.

Issues: I. When did the contract in this case begin?

II. Can heirs of deceased recover damages under unjust enrichment theory when the contract had not yet gone into effect?

Holding: I. The contract begins when the two parties signed the contract.

II. Heirs of deceased cannot recover damages under unjust enrichment theory when the contract had not yet gone into effect.

Ruling: Judgment of lower court is affirmed; ruled in favor of defendant.

Rationale: -Plaintiff and Defendant entered into contract with certain assumptions. P is guaranteed place to live until he died.

-Plaintiff’s death was reasonably foreseeable.

-Plaintiff received a benefit for his money: peace of mind, place to stay.

Evaluation: -Dissent – Justice Peters. Implied condition?

-Broad rule from this case that applies to all cases – contract begins when it is executed between the two parties. They know the risks they are taking. Once you have signed, you’ve agreed to something and you’re bound.



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