Henderson v. Fisher

California Court of Appeal

236 Cal. App. 2d 468 (Cal. Ct. App. 1965)

Quasi-specific performance is available as a remedy under the same circumstances as specific performance.

Relevant Facts

The Hendersons (the plaintiffs) were close friends with an elderly couple, the Bakers. When Mrs. Baker passed away, the plaintiffs moved into the Bakers’ home to assist Mr. Baker, who was blind but in good health. At his request, and with the assistance of his attorney, the plaintiffs executed a contract with Mr. Baker whereby they agreed to support and care for him for the remainder of his life. In return, Mr. Baker would present an executed deed to the plaintiffs for his home and reserve a life estate for himself. After 18 days of care, Mr. Baker died before he could execute the promised deed. The plaintiffs failed a creditor’s claim against Mr. Baker’s estate (the defendant), seeking either specific performance of the contract or alternatively $5,000 (the reasonable value of the promised property).

The trial court denied specific performance because the plaintiffs’ services were not commensurate to the value of the home, and awarded $382 for the value of services provided to Mr. Baker during his life. The plaintiffs appeal.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 22, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

236 Cal. App. 2d 468 (Cal. Ct. App. 1965)