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Kase v. French

Supreme Court of South Dakota
325 N.W.2d 678 (1982)


Facts

Mr. and Mrs. French (Frenches) (defendants) befriended an elderly woman, Mrs. McWilliams. During the time of the friendship, the Frenches delivered groceries to Mrs. McWilliams and constantly checked up on her. At one point, the Frenches told Mrs. McWilliams that they would take care of Mrs. McWilliams for the rest of her life. Later, the Frenches told Mrs. McWilliams that it would be better for Mrs. McWilliams to move to a smaller house. Mrs. McWilliams then offered to sell her house to the Frenches. The parties agreed on a price of $40,000 with an interest rate of one percent. At the time, the going interest rate in South Dakota was six to eight percent. The agreement also stated that Mrs. McWilliams would live in the house for an additional two years rent-free. Mrs. McWilliams’ lawyer advised her that there had been higher offers for the house and that the interest rate was very low. Mrs. McWilliams declined to take the advice and sold the house to the Frenches. After Mrs. McWilliams’ death, the executor of the estate, Kase (plaintiff) attempted to rescind the sale of the house. The trial court upheld the sale finding no undue influence existed. Kase appealed.

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Holding and Reasoning (Wollman, J.)

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Dissent (Henderson, J.)

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