Andover and Medford Turnpike Corp. v. Abraham Gould

6 Mass. 40 (5 Tyng) (1809)

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Andover and Medford Turnpike Corp. v. Abraham Gould

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
6 Mass. 40 (5 Tyng) (1809)

Facts

In 1805, the Massachusetts legislature chartered a corporation to create a turnpike road. The body given authority to make the road, the Andover and Medford Turnpike Corporation (the corporation) (plaintiff), had the authority to sell shares to fund the construction of the road initially and later to share in profits obtained from the road toll. Abraham Gould (defendant) signed a subscription document that indicated that he was desirous of the road being completed as soon as possible and agreed to take the number of shares set below, which was noted in Gould’s case as one share. The statute that chartered the corporation gave the corporation the power to collect unpaid assessments from any party by directing the sale of that individual’s shares in the road. However, when Gould failed to pay the corporation the assessments due for the road, the corporation filed this action to recover the assessments in question. The corporation argued that in signing the subscription document, Gould had consented to pay the assessments due by express or implied promise. At the trial court level, the court found for Gould, with the judge instructing the jury that no express or implied promise had been proven and that the only recourse available to the corporation was the sale of Gould’s share. The corporation then appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Parsons, J.)

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