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Henderson v. Fisher

California Court of Appeal
236 Cal. App. 2d 468 (1965)


The Hendersons (plaintiffs) were close to the Bakers, an elderly couple. When Mrs. Baker died, the Hendersons moved into the Bakers’ home to assist Mr. Baker, who was blind but in good health. Subsequently, at Mr. Baker’s request and with the assistance of his attorney, the Hendersons and Mr. Baker executed a contract pursuant to which the Hendersons agreed to support and care for Mr. Baker and his home for the remainder of his life. Mr. Baker promised to execute and deliver to the Hendersons a deed for his home, reserving for himself a life estate. The Hendersons cared for Mr. Baker for 18 days, after which Mr. Baker died. However, Mr. Baker had not executed the promised deed before his death. The Hendersons filed a creditor’s claim against Mr. Baker’s estate (defendant), seeking specific performance of the contract or, alternatively, $5,000 as the reasonable value of the promised property. The trial court denied specific performance, holding that the Hendersons’ services were not worth the value of the house, and awarded only $381.85 for the value of the services provided to Mr. Baker during his lifetime. The Hendersons appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Molinari, J.)

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