8 Ala. 1312
JANUARY TERM, 1845.4
Error to the Circuit Court of Talladega.5
 ASSUMPSIT by the defendant, against the plaintiff in error. The question is presented in this Court, upon a case agreed, which shows the following facts:6
The plaintiff was the wife of defendant's brother, but had for some time been a widow, and had several children. In 1840, the plaintiff resided on public land, under a contract of lease, she had held over, and was comfortably settled, and would have attempted to secure the land she lived on. The defendant resided in Talladega county, some sixty, or seventy miles off. On the 10th October, 1840, he wrote to her the following letter:7
"Dear sister Antillico—Much to my mortification, I heard, that brother Henry was dead, and one of his children. I know that your situation is one of grief, and difficulty. You had a bad chance before, but a great deal worse now. I should like to come and see you, but cannot with convenience at present. . . . I do not know whether you have a preference on the place you live on, or not. If you had, I would advise you to obtain your preference, and sell the land and quit the country, as I understand it is very unhealthy, and I know society is very bad. If you will come down and see me, I will let you have a place to raise your family, and I have more open land than I can tend; and on the account of your situation, and that of your family, I feel like I want you and the children to do well."
Within a month or two after the receipt of this letter, the plaintiff abandoned her possession, without disposing of it, and removed with her family, to the residence of the defendant, who put her in comfortable houses, and gave her land to cultivate for two years, at the end of which time he notified her to remove, and put her in a house, not comfortable, in the woods, which he afterwards required her to leave.9
A verdict being found for the plaintiff, for two hundred dollars, the above facts were agreed, and if they will sustain the action, the judgment is to be affirmed, otherwise it is to be reversed.10
RICE, for plaintiff in error, cited 4 Johns. 235; 10 id. 246; 6 Litt. 101; 2 Cowen, 139; 1 Caine's, 47.11
W. P. CHILTON and PORTER, for defendant in error, cited 1 Kinne's Law Com. 216, 218; Story on Con. 115; Chitty on Con.  29; 18 Johns. 337 ; 2 Peters, 182 ; 1 Mar. 535; 5 Cranch, 142 ; 8 Mass. 200; 6 id. 58; 4 Maun. 63; 1 Conn. 519.12
ORMOND, J.—The inclination of my mind, is, that the loss and inconvenience, which the plaintiff sustained in breaking up, and moving to the defendant's, a distance of sixty miles, is a sufficient consideration to support the promise, to furnish her with a house, and land to cultivate, until she could raise her family. My brothers, however think, that the promise on the part of the defendant, was a mere gratuity, and that an action will not lie for its breach. The judgment of the Court below must therefore be, reversed, pursuant to the agreement of the parties.
57 Neb. 512
FILED DECEMBER 8, 1898.
 ERROR from the district court of Lancaster county. Tried below before HOLMES, J. Affirmed.5
The opinion contains a statement of the case.6
Ricketts & Wilson, for plaintiff in error:7
A promissory note which is not given for a valuable consideration, as distinguished from a good consideration, cannot be enforced. (Stenberg v. State, 48 Neb. 299; Kirkpatrick v. Taylor, 43 Ill. 207; Blanchard v. Williamson, 70 Ill. 647; Pratt v. Trustees, 93 Ill. 475; Williams v. Forbes, 28 N.E. Rep. [Ill.] 463; Richardson v. Richardson, 36 N. E. Rep. [Ill.] 608; Fink v. Fink, 18 Johns. [N.Y.] 145; Hadley v. Reed, 58 Hun [N.Y.] 608; Hill v. Buckminster, 22 Mass. 391; Carr v. Silloway, 111 Mass. 24.)8
It was necessary to allege and prove a consideration. (Courtney v. Doyle, 92 Mass. 122.)9
The question of consideration was one to be proved preliminary to the admission of the note in evidence, and. it was for the court to decide this preliminary fact before admitting the note in evidence. (Robinson v. Ferry, 11 Conn. 460; Merrill v. Berkshire, 11 Pick. [Mass.] 269; Bartlett v. Smith, 11 Mees. & W. [Eng.] 483.)10
Defendant in error's liberty to continue in her employment or to enter the employment of another was as untrammelled at the time and after she received the note as it had ever been, so far as the evidence shows. The evidence does not establish a consideration. (Mecorney v. Stanley, 62 Mass. 87; Manter v. Churchill, 127 Mass. 31; First Nat. Bank of Arlington v. Cecil, 32 Pac. Rep. [Ore.] 393.)11
Where the controlling facts are undisputed, and different conclusions cannot be drawn therefrom, what the verdict should be is a question of law for the court, and it is the duty of the court to direct a verdict. (Gardner v. Michigan C. R. Co., 150 U. S. 349; Northern P. R. Co. v. Austin, 24 U. S. App. 336; Powell v. Powell, 23 Mo. App. 365.)12
 Lamb & Adams, contra:13
There was a sufficient consideration. (Talbott v. Stemmons, 89 Ky. 222; Doyle v. Dixon, 97 Mass. 213; Parker v. Urie, 21 Pa. St. 305; Appeal of Clark, 19 Atl. Rep. [Conn.] 322; Emery v. Darling, 33 N. E. Rep. [O.] 715.)14
A promissory note imports a consideration. (Flint v. Phipps, 19 Pac. Rep. [Ore.] 543; Wilson v. Wilson, 38 Pac. Rep. [Ore.] 189.)15
To uphold a contract, it is not necessary that the promisor should receive a consideration. It is sufficient if the promisee or other beneficiary sustains the least injury or detriment, or parts with anything of the least value on the faith of the contract. (Houck v. Frisbee, 66 Mo. App. 16.)16
Forbearance from doing an act is evidence from which the jury may infer an agreement to forbear. (Boyd v. Freize, 5 Gray [Mass.] 553; Walker v. Sherman, 11 Met. [Mass.] 172; Breed v. Hillhouse, 7 Conn. 523.)17
It is not necessary that a consideration should exist at the time the promise is made. Before revocation of the promise, performance of the acts required of promisee renders the promise obligatory. (Train v. Gold, 5 Pick. [Mass.] 380; Hilton v. Southwick, 17 Me. 303; L'Amoreux v. Gould, 57 Am. Dec. [N.Y.] 524; Brown v. Ray, 51 Am. Dec. [N. Car.] 379.)18
The note was properly admitted in evidence. (Stevenson v. Gunning, 25 Atl. Rep. [Vt.] 697; Martin v. Stone, 29 Atl. Rep. [N.H.] 845.)19
Additional references as to sufficiency of consideration: Hamer v. Sidway, 124 N.Y. 538; Lindell v. Rokes, 60 Mo. 249; Earle v. Angell, 157 Mass. 249; Bretton v. Prettiman, Sir T. Raym. [Eng.] 153; Wilkinson v. Oliveira, 27 E. C. L. [Eng.] 490.20
In the district court of Lancaster county the plaintiff Katie Scothorn recovered judgment against the defendant  Andrew D. Ricketts, as executor of the last will and testament of John C. Ricketts, deceased. The action was based upon a promissory note, of which the following is a copy:22
May the first, 1801. I promise to pay to Katie Scothorn on demand, $2,000, to be at 6 per cent per annum.
J. C. RICKETTS.
In the petition the plaintiff alleges that the consideration for the execution of the note was that she should surrender her employment as bookkeeper for Mayer Bros, and cease to work for a living. She also alleges that the note was given to induce her to abandon her occupation, and that, relying on it, and on the annual interest, as a means of support, she gave up the employment in which she was then engaged. These allegations of the petition are denied by the executor. The material facts are undisputed. They are as follows: John O. Ricketts, the maker of the note, was the grandfather of the plaintiff. Early in May,—presumably on the day the note bears date,—he called on her at the store where she was working. What transpired between them is thus described by Mr. Flodene, one of the plaintiff's witnesses:24
A. Well the old gentleman came in there one morning about 9 o'clock,—probably a little before or a little after, but early in the morning,— and he unbuttoned his vest and took out a piece of paper in the shape of a note; that is the way it looked to me; and he says to Miss Scothorn, "I have fixed out something that you have not got to work any more." He says, "None of my grandchildren work and you don't have to."
Q. Where was she?
A. She took the piece of paper and kissed him; and kissed the old gentleman and commenced to cry.
It seems Miss Scothorn immediately notified her employer of her intention to quit work and that she did soon after abandon her occupation. The mother of the plaintiff was a witness and testified that she had a conversation with her father, Mr, Ricketts, shortly after the  note was executed in which he informed her that he had given the note to the plaintiff to enable her to quit work; that none of his grandchildren worked and he did not think she ought to. For something more than a year the plaintiff was without an occupation; but in September, 1892, with the consent of her grandfather, and by his assistance, she secured a position as bookkeeper with Messrs. Funke & Ogden. On June 8, 1894, Mr. Ricketts died. He had paid one year's interest on the note, and a short time before his death expressed regret that he had not been able to pay the balance. In the summer or fall of 1892 he stated to his daughter, Mrs. Scothorn, that if he could sell his farm in Ohio he would pay the note out of the proceeds. He at no time repudiated the obligation. We quite agree with counsel for the defendant that upon this evidence there was nothing to submit to the jury, and that a verdict should have been directed peremptorily for one of the parties. The testimony of Flodene and Mrs. Scothorn, taken together, conclusively establishes the fact that the note was not given in consideration of the plaintiff pursuing, or agreeing to pursue, any particular line of conduct. There was no promise on the part of the plaintiff to do or refrain from doing anything. Her right to the money promised in the note was not made to depend upon an abandonment of her employment with Mayer Bros, and future abstention from like service. Mr. Ricketts made no condition, requirement, or request. He exacted no quid pro quo. He gave the note as a gratuity and looked for nothing in return. So far as the evidence discloses, it was his purpose to place the plaintiff in a position of independence where she could work or remain idle as she might choose. The abandonment by Miss Scothorn of her position as bookkeeper was altogether voluntary. It was not an act done in fulfillment of any contract obligation assumed when she accepted the note. The instrument in suit being given without any valuable consideration, was nothing more than a promise to make a gift in the future of the  sum of money therein named. Ordinarily, such promises are not enforceable even when put in the form of a promissory note. (Kirkpatrick v. Taylor, 43 Ill. 207; Phelps v. Phelps, 28 Barb. [N.Y.] 121; Johnston v. Griest, 85 Ind. 503; Fink v. Cox, 18 Johns. [N.Y.] 145.) But it has often been held that an action on a note given to a church, college, or other like institution, upon the faith of which money has been expended or obligations incurred, could not be successfully defended on the ground of a want of consideration. (Barnes v. Perine, 12 N.Y. 18; Philomath College v. Hartless, 6 Ore. 158; Thompson v. Mercer County, 40 Ill. 379; Irwin v. Lombard University, 56 O. St. 9.) In this class of cases the note in suit is nearly always spoken of as a gift or donation, but the decision is generally put on the ground that the expenditure of money or assumption of liability by the donee, on the faith of the promise, constitutes a valuable and sufficient consideration. It seems to us that the true reason is the preclusion of the defendant, under the doctrine of estoppel, to deny the consideration. Such seems to be the view of the matter taken by the supreme court of Iowa in the case of Simpson Centenary College v. Tuttle, 71 Ia. 596, where Rothrock, J., speaking for the court, said:26
Where a note, however, is based on a promise to give for the support of the objects referred to, it may still be open to this defense [want of consideration], unless it shall appear that the donee has, prior to any revocation, entered into engagements or made expenditures based on such promise, so that he must suffer loss or injury if the note is not paid. This is based on the equitable principle that, after allowing the donee to incur obligations on the faith that the note would be paid, the donor would be estopped from pleading want of consideration.
And in the case of Reimensnyder v. Gans, 110 Pa. St. 17, 2 Atl. Rep. 425, which was an action on a note given as a donation to a charitable object, the court said: "The fact is that, as Ave may see from the case of Ryerss v. Trustees, 33 Pa. St. 114, ft contract of the kind here  involved is enforceable rather by way of estoppel than on the ground of consideration in the original undertaking." It has been held that a note given in expectation of the payee performing certain services, but without any contract binding him to serve, will not support an action. (Hulse v. Hulse, 84 Eng. Com. Law 709.) But when the payee changes his position to his disadvantage, in reliance on the promise, a right of action does arise. (McClure v. Wilson, 43 Ill. 356; Trustees v. Garvey, 53 Ill. 401.)28
Under the circumstances of this case is there an equitable estoppel which ought to preclude the defendant from alleging that the note in controversy is lacking in one of the essential elements of a valid contract? We think there is. An estoppel in pais is defined to be "a right arising from acts, admissions, or conduct which have induced a change of position in accordance with the real or apparent intention of the party against whom they are alleged." Mr. Pomeroy has formulated the following definition:29
Equitable estoppel is the effect of the voluntary conduct of a party whereby he is absolutely precluded, both at law and in equity, from asserting rights which might perhaps have otherwise existed, either of property, or contract, or of remedy, as against another person who in good faith relied upon such conduct, and has been led thereby to change his position for the worse, and who on his part acquires some corresponding right either of property, of contract, or of remedy. (2 Pomeroy, Equity Jurisprudence 804.)
According to the undisputed proof, as shown by the record before us, the plaintiff was a working girl, holding a position in which she earned a salary of $10 per week. Her grandfather, desiring to put her in a position of independence, gave her the note, accompanying it with the remark that his other grandchildren did not work, and that she would not be obliged to work any longer. In effect he suggested that she might abandon her employment and rely in the future upon the bounty which he promised, lie, doubtless, desired that she should give  up her occupation, but whether he did or not, it is entirely certain that he contemplated such action on her part as a reasonable and probable consequence of his gift. Having intentionally influenced the plaintiff to alter her position for the worse on the faith of the note being paid when due, it would be grossly inequitable to permit the maker, or his executor, to resist payment on the ground that the promise was given without consideration. The petition charges the elements of an equitable estoppel, and the evidence conclusively establishes them. If errors intervened at the trial they could not have been prejudicial. A verdict for the defendant would be unwarranted.31
The judgment is right and is32
246 N. Y. 369
ALLEGHENY COLLEGE, Appellant,
THE NATIONAL CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY BANK OF JAMESTOWN, as Executor of MARY Y. JOHNSTON, Deceased, Respondent.
Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Fourth Department
Allegheny College v. Nat. Chautauqua County Bank, 219 App. Div. 852, reversed.3
(Argued October 18, 1927; decided November 22, 1927.)4
APPEAL, by permission, from a judgment of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the fourth judicial department, entered April 13, 1927, unanimously affirming a judgment in favor of defendant entered upon a dismissal of the complaint by the court on trial at an Equity Term. Clarence G. Pickard, C. A. Pickard and Arthur L. Bates for appellant. The subscription paper executed by Mary Yates Johnston was founded upon a legal consideration. (Barnes v. Perine, 12 N. Y. 18; Matter of Conger, 113 Misc. Rep. 129; Eliassof v. DeWandelaer, 30 App. Div. 155; Coyne v. Weaver, 84 X. Y. 386; Ga Nun v. Palmer, 210 N. Y. 603; Roberts v. Cobb, 103 N. Y. 600; Mechanicville War Chest, Inc., v. Butterfield, 110 Misc. Hep. 257; Richmondville Union Seminary v. McDonald, 34 N. Y. 379; Genesee College v. Dodge, 26 N. Y. 213; Locke v. Taylor, 161 App. Div. 44.)5
Robert H. Jackson, Harry R. Lewis and Benjamin S. Dean for respondent. The instrument is only a promise to make a gift or subscription and lacks consideration which the law of New York requires for actionability. (Hamilton College v. Stewart, 1 N. Y. 581; Presbyterian Church v. Cooper, 112 N. Y. 517; Twenty-third St. Church  v. Cornell, 117 N. Y. 601; Holmes v. Roper, 141 N. Y. 64; Dougherty v. Salt, 227 N. Y. 202; Assets Realization Co. v. Howard, 211 N. Y. 430; Tucker v. Alexander off, 183 U. S. 424; Cottage Church v. Kendall, 121 Mass. 528; Montpelier Seminary v. Smith, 69 Vt. 382; New Jersey Hospital v. Wright, 95 N. J. L. 462; U. of Penn. v. Coxe, 277 Penn. St. 512; Gait v. Swain, 9 Geattan [Va.], 633.)6
CARDOZO, Ch. J. The plaintiff, Allegheny College, is an institution of liberal learning at Meadville, Pennsylvania. In June 1921, a "drive" was in progress to secure for it an additional endowment of $1,250,000. An appeal to contribute to this fund was made to Mary Yates Johnston of Jamestown, New York. In response thereto, she signed and delivered on June 15, 1921, the following writing:7
“Allegheny College Second Century Endowment
"JAMESTOWN, N. Y., June 15, 1921."
“In consideration of my interest in Christian Education, and in consideration of others subscribing, I hereby subscribe and will pay to the order of the Treasurer of Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania, the sum of Five Thousand Dollars; $5,000.
"This obligation shall become due thirty days after my death, and I hereby instruct my Executor, or Administrator, to pay the same out of my estate. This pledge shall bear interest at the rate of . . . per cent per annum, payable annually, from . . . till paid. The proceeds of this obligation shall be added to the Endowment of said Institution, or expended in accordance with instructions on reverse side of this pledge."
“Name MARY YATES JOHNSTON,
“Address 306 East 6th Street,
“Jamestown, N. Y.
“DAYTON E. MCCLAIN Witness
"T. R. COURTIS Witness
to authentic signature."
 On the reverse side of the writing is the following indorsement:9
"In loving memory this gift shall be known as the Mary Yates Johnston Memorial Fund, the proceeds from which shall be used to educate students preparing for the Ministry, either in the United States or in the Foreign Field.10
"This pledge shall be valid only on the condition that the provisions of my Will, now extant, shall be first met.
"MARY YATES JOHNSTON."
The subscription was not payable by its terms until thirty days after the death of the promisor. The sum of $1,000 was paid, however, upon account in December, 1923, while the promisor was alive. The college set the money aside to be held as a scholarship fund for the benefit of students preparing for the ministry. Later, in July, 1924, the promisor gave notice to the college that she repudiated the promise. Upon the expiration of thirty days following her death, this action was brought against the executor of her will to recover the unpaid balance.11
The law of charitable subscriptions has been a prolific source of controversy in this State and elsewhere. We have held that a promise of that order is unenforcible like any other if made without consideration (Hamilton College v. Stewart, 1 N. Y. 581; Presb. Church v. Cooper, 112 N. Y. 517; 23rd St. Bap. Church v. Cornell, 117 N. Y. 601). On the other hand, though professing to apply to such subscriptions the general law of contract, we have found consideration present where the general law of contract, at least as then declared, would have said that it was absent (Barnes v. Ferine, 12 N. Y. 18; Presb. Soc. v. Beach, 74 N. Y. 72; Keuka College v. Ray, 167 N. Y. 96; cf. Eastern States League v. Vail, 97 Vt. 495, 508, and cases cited; Y. M. C. A. v. Estill, 140 Ga. 291; Amherest Academy v. Cowls, 6 Pick. 427; Ladies Collegiate Inst. v. French, 16 Gray, 196; Martin v. Meles, 179 Mass. [ 373] 114; Robinson v. Nutt, 185 Mass. 345; U. of Pa. v. Coxe, 277 Penn. St. 512; Williston, Contracts, § 116).12
A classic form of statement identifies consideration with detriment to the promisee sustained by virtue of the promise (Hamer v. Sidway, 124 N. Y. 538; Anson, Contracts [Corbin's ed.], p. 116; 8 Holdsworth, History of English Law, 10). So compendious a formula is little more than a half truth. There is need of many a supplementary gloss before the outline can be so filled in as to depict the classic doctrine. "The promise and the consideration must purport to be the motive each for the other, in whole or at least in part. It is not enough that the promise induces the detriment or that the detriment induces the promise if the other half is wanting" (Wise. & Mich. Ry. Co. v. Powers, 191 U. S. 379, 386; McGovern v. City of N. Y., 234 N. Y. 377, 389; Walton Water Co. v. Village of Walton, 238 N. Y. 46, 51; 1 Williston, Contracts, §139; Langdell, Summary of the Law of Contracts, pp. 82-88). If A promises B to make him a gift, consideration may be lacking, though B has renounced other opportunities for betterment in the faith that the promise will be kept.13
The half truths of one generation tend at times to perpetuate themselves in the law as the whole truths of another, when constant repetition brings it about that qualifications, taken once for granted, are disregarded or forgotten. The doctrine of consideration has not escaped the common lot. As far back as 1881, Judge HOLMES in his lectures on the Common Law (p. 292), separated the detriment which is merely a consequence of the promise from the detriment which is in truth the motive or inducement, and yet added that the courts "have gone far in obliterating this distinction." The tendency toward effacement has not lessened with the years. On the contrary, there has grown up of recent days a doctrine that a substitute for consideration or an exception to its ordinary requirements can be found in  what is styled " a promissory estoppel " (Williston, Contracts, §§139, 116). Whether the exception has made its way in this State to such an extent as to permit us to say that the general law of consideration has been modified accordingly, we do not now attempt to say. Cases such as Siegel v. Spear & Co. (234 N. Y. 479) and DeCiccov. Schweizer (221 N. Y. 431) may be signposts on the road. Certain, at least, it is that we have adopted the doctrine of promissory estoppel as the equivalent of consideration in connection with our law of charitable subscriptions. So long as those decisions stand, the question is not merely whether the enforcement of a charitable subscription can be squared with the doctrine of consideration in all its ancient rigor. The question may also be whether it can be squared with the doctrine of consideration as qualified by the doctrine of promissory estoppel.14
We have said that the cases in this State have recognized this exception, if exception it is thought to be. Thus, in Barnes v. Perine (12 N. Y. 18) the subscription was made without request, express or implied, that the church do anything on the faith of it. Later, the church did incur expense to the knowledge of the promisor, and in the reasonable belief that the promise would be kept. We held the promise binding, though consideration there was none except upon the theory of a promissory estoppel. In Presbyterian Society v. Beach (74 X. Y. 72) a situation substantially the same became the basis for a like ruling. So in Roberts v. Cobb (103 N. Y. 600) and Keuka College v. Ray (167 N. Y. 96) the moulds of consideration as fixed by the old doctrine were subjected to a like expansion. Very likely, conceptions of public policy have shaped, more or less subconsciously, the rulings thus made. Judges have been affected by the thought that "defences of that character" are "breaches of faith toward the public, and especially toward those engaged in the same enterprise, and an unwarrantable disappointment of the reasonable expectations of those interested" (W. F.  ALLEN, J., in Barnes v. Perine, supra, page 24; and cf. Eastern States League v. Vail, 97 Vt. 495, 505, and cases there cited). The result speaks for itself irrespective of the motive. Decisions which have stood so long, and which are supported by so many considerations of public policy and reason, will not be overruled to save the symmetry of a concept which itself came into our law, not so much from any reasoned conviction of its justice, as from historical accidents of practice and procedure (8 Holdsworth, History of English Law, 7 et seq.). The concept survives as one of the distinctive features of our legal system. We have no thought to suggest that it is obsolete or on the way to be abandoned. As in the case of other concepts, however, the pressure of exceptions has led to irregularities of form.15
It is in this background of precedent that we are to view the problem now before us. The background helps to an understanding of the implications inherent in subscription and acceptance. This is so though we may find in the end that without recourse to the innovation of promissory estoppel the transaction can be fitted within the mould of consideration as established by tradition. The promisor wished to have a memorial to perpetuate her name. She imposed a condition that the "gift" should "be known as the Mary Yates Johnston Memorial Fund." The moment that the college accepted $1,000 as a payment on account, there was an assumption of a duty to do whatever acts were customary or reasonably necessary to maintain the memorial fairly and justly in the spirit of its creation. The college could not accept the money, and hold itself free thereafter from personal responsibility to give effect to the condition (Dinan v. Coneys, 143 N. Y. 544, 547; Brown v. Knapp, 79 N. Y. 136; Gridley v. Gridley, 24 N. Y. 130; Grossman v. Schenker, 206 N. Y. 466, 469; 1 Williston, Contracts, §§90, 370). More is involved in the receipt of such a fund than a mere acceptance of money to be held to a corporate use  (cf. Martin v. Meles, 179 Mass. 114, citing Johnson v. Otterbein University, 41 Ohio St. 527, 531, and Presb. Church v. Cooper, 112 N. Y. 517). The purpose of the founder would be unfairly thwarted or at least inadequately served if the college failed to communicate to the world, or in any event to applicants for the scholarship, the title of the memorial. By implication it undertook, when it accepted a portion of the "gift," that in its circulars of information and in other customary ways, when making announcement of this scholarship, it would couple with the announcement the name of the donor. The donor was not at liberty to gain the benefit of such an undertaking upon the payment of a part and dis- appoint the expectation that there would be payment of the residue. If the college had stated after receiving $1,000 upon account of the subscription that it would apply the money to the prescribed use, but that in its circulars of information and when responding to prospective applicants it would deal with the fund as an anonymous donation, there is little doubt that the subscriber would have been at liberty to treat this statement as the repudiation of a duty impliedly assumed, a repudiation justifying a refusal to make payments in the future. Obligation in such circumstances is correlative and mutual. A case much in point is N. J. Hospital v. Wright (95 N. J. L. 402, 464), where a subscription for the maintenance of a bed in a hospital was held to be enforcible by virtue of an implied promise by the hospital that the bed should be maintained in the name of the subscriber (cf. Bd. of Foreign Missions v. Smith, 209 Tenn. St. 361). A parallel situation might arise upon the endowment of a chair or a fellowship in a university by the aid of annual payments with the condition that it should commemorate the name of the founder or that of a member of his family. The university would fail to live up to the fair meaning of its promise if it were to publish in its circulars of information and elsewhere the [ 377] existence of a chair or a fellowship in the prescribed subject, and omit the benefactor's name. A duty to act in ways beneficial to the promisor and beyond the application of the fund to the mere uses of the trust would be cast upon the promisee by the acceptance of the money. We do not need to measure the extent either of benefit to the promisor or of detriment to the promisee implicit in this duty. "If a person chooses to make an extravagant promise for an inadequate consideration it is his own affair" (8 Holdsworth, History of English Law, p. 17). It was long ago said that "when a thing is to be done by the plaintiff, be it never so small, this is a sufficient consideration to ground an action" (Sturlyn v. Albany, 1587, Cro. Eliz. 67, quoted by Holdsworth, supra; cf. Walton Water Co. v. Village of Walton, 238 N. Y. 46, 51). The longing for posthumous remembrance is an emotion not so weak as to justify us in saying that its gratification is a negligible good.16
We think the duty assumed by the plaintiff to perpetuate the name of the founder of the memorial is sufficient in itself to give validity to the subscription within the rules that define consideration for a promise of that order. When the promisee subjected itself to such a duty at the implied request of the promisor, the result was the creation of a bilateral agreement (Williston, Contracts, §§60-a, 68, 90, 370; Brown v. Knapp, supra; Grossman v. Schenker, supra; Williams College v. Danforth, 12 Pick. 541, 544; Ladies Collegiate Inst. v. French, 16 Gray, 196, 200). There was a promise on the one side and on the other a return promise, made, it is true, by implication, but expressing an obligation that had been exacted as a condition of the payment. A bilateral agreement may exist though one of the mutual promises be a promise "implied in fact," an inference from conduct as opposed to an inference from words (Williston, Contracts, §§90, 22-a; Pettibone v. Moore, 75 Hun, 461, 464). We think the fair inference to be drawn from the  acceptance of a payment on account of the subscription is a promise by the college to do what may be necessary on its part to make the scholarship effective. The plan conceived by the subscriber will be mutilated and distorted unless the sum to be accepted is adequate to the end in view. Moreover, the time to affix her name to the memorial will not arrive until the entire fund has been collected. The college may thus thwart the purpose of the payment on account if at liberty to reject a tender of the residue. It is no answer to say that a duty would then arise to make restitution of the money. If such a duty may be imposed, the only reason for its existence must be that there is then a failure of "consideration." To say that there is a failure of consideration is to concede that a consideration has been promised since otherwise it could not fail. No doubt there are times and situations in which limitations laid upon a promisee in connection with the use of what is paid by a subscriber lack the quality of a consideration, and are to be classed merely as conditions (Williston, Contracts, §112; Page, Contracts, §523).17
"It is often difficult to determine whether words of condition in a promise indicate a request for consideration or state a mere condition in a gratuitous promise. An aid, though not a conclusive test in determining which construction of the promise is more reasonable is an inquiry whether the happening of the condition will be a benefit to the promisor. If so, it is a fair inference that the happening was requested as a consideration"18
(Williston, supra, §112). Such must be the meaning of this transaction unless we are prepared to hold that the college may keep the payment on account, and thereafter nullify the scholarship which is to preserve the memory of the subscriber. The fair implication to be gathered from the whole transaction is assent to the condition and the assumption of a duty to "go forward with performance (DeWolf Co. v. Harvey, 161 Wis. 535; Pullman Co. v. Meyer, 195 Ala. 397, 401; Braniff v. Baier,  101 Kan. 117; cf. Corbin, Offer & Acceptance, 26 Yale L. J. 169, 177, 193; McGovney, Irrevocable Offers, 27 Harv. L. R. 644; Sir Frederick Pollock, 28 L. Q. R. 100, 101). The subscriber does not say: I hand you $1,000, and you may make up your mind later, after my death, whether you will undertake to commemorate my name. What she says in effect is this: I hand you $1,000, and if you are unwilling to commemorate me, the time to speak is now. The conclusion thus reached makes it needless to consider whether, aside from the feature of a memorial, a promissory estoppel may result from the assumption of a duty to apply the fund, so far as already paid, to special purposes not mandatory under the provisions of the college charter (the support and education of students preparing for the ministry), an assumption induced by the belief that other payments sufficient in amount to make the scholarship effective would be added to the fund thereafter upon the death of the subscriber (Ladies Collegiate Inst. v. French, 16 Gray, 196; Barnes v. Perine, 12 N. Y. 18, and cases there cited).19
The judgment of the Appellate Division and that of the Trial Term should be reversed, and judgment ordered for the plaintiff as prayed for in the complaint, with costs in all courts.20
KELLOGG, J. (dissenting). The Chief Judge finds in the expression "In loving memory this gift shall be known as the Mary Yates Johnston Memorial Fund” an offer on the part of Mary Yates Johnston to contract with Allegheny College. The expression makes no such appeal to me. Allegheny College was not requested to perform any act through which the sum offered might bear the title by which the offeror states that it shall be known. The sum offered was termed a "gift” by the offeror. Consequently, I can see no reason why we should strain ourselves to make it, not a gift, but a trade.  Moreover, since the donor specified that the gift was made "In consideration of my interest in Christian education, and in consideration of others subscribing," considerations not adequate in law, I can see no excuse for asserting that it was otherwise made in consideration of an act or promise on the part of the donee, constituting a sufficient quid quo pro to convert the gift into a contract obligation. To me the words used merely expressed an expectation or wish on the part of the donor and failed to exact the return of an adequate consideration. But if an offer indeed was present, then clearly it was an offer to enter into a unilateral contract. The offeror was to be bound provided the offeree performed such acts as might be necessary to make the gift offered become known under the proposed name. This is evidently the thought of the Chief Judge, for he says: "She imposed a condition that the 'gift' should be known as the Mary Yates Johnston Memorial Fund." In other words, she proposed to exchange her offer of a donation in return for acts to be performed. Even so there was never any acceptance of the offer and, therefore, no contract, for the acts requested have never been performed. The gift has never been made known as demanded. Indeed, the requested acts, under the very terms of the assumed offer, could never have been performed at a time to convert the offer into a promise. This is so for the reason that the donation was not to take effect until after the death of the donor, and by her death her offer was withdrawn. (Williston on Contracts, sec. 62.) Clearly, although a promise of the college to make the gift known, as requested, may be implied, that promise was not the acceptance of an offer which gave rise to a contract. The donor stipulated for acts, not promises.21
"In order to make a bargain it is necessary that the acceptor shall give in return for the offer or the promise exactly the consideration which the offeror requests. If an act is requested, that very act and no other must be  given. If a promise is requested, that promise must be made absolutely and unqualifiedly."22
(Williston on Contracts, sec. 73.)23
"It does not follow that an offer becomes a promise because it is accepted; it may be, and frequently is, conditional, and then it does not become a promise until the conditions are satisfied; and in case of offers for a consideration, the performance of the consideration is always deemed a condition."24
(Langdell, Summary of the Law of Contracts, sec. 4.) It seems clear to me that there was here no offer, no acceptance of an offer, and no contract. Neither do I agree with the Chief Judge that this court “found consideration present where the general law of contract, at least as then declared, would have said that it was absent" in the cases of Barnes v. Ferine (12 N. Y. 18), Presbyterian Society v. Beach (74 N. Y. 72) and Keuka College v. Ray (167 N. Y. 96). In the Keuka College case an offer to contract, in consideration of the performance of certain acts by the offeree, was converted into a promise by the actual performance of those acts. This form of contract has been known to the law from time immemorial (Langdell, sec. 46) and for at least a century longer than the other type, a bilateral contract. (Williston, sec. 13.) It may be that the basis of the decisions in Barnes v. Perine and Presbyterian, Society v. Beach (supra) was the same as in the Keuka College case. (See Presbyterian Church of Albany v. Cooper, 112 N. Y. 517.) However, even if the basis of the decisions be a so-called " promissory estoppel," nevertheless they initiated no new doctrine. A so-called " promissory estoppel," although not so termed, was held sufficient by Lord MANSFIELD and his fellow judges as far back as the year 1765. (Pillans v. Van Mierop, 3 Burr. 1663.) Such a doctrine may be an anomaly; it is not a novelty. Therefore, I can see no ground for the suggestion that the ancient rule which makes consideration necessary to the formation of every contract is in danger of effacement through any decisions  of this court. To me that is a cause for gratulation rather than regret. However, the discussion may be beside the mark, for I do not understand that the holding about to be made in this case is other than a holding that consideration Was given to convert the offer into a promise. With that result I cannot agree and, accordingly, must dissent.25
POUND, CRANE, LEHMAN and O'BRIEN, JJ., concur with CARDOZO, Ch. J.; KELLOGG, J. dissents in opinion, in which ANDREWS, J., concurs.26
234 N.Y. 479
WILLIAM SIEGEL, Respondent,
SPEAR & COMPANY, Appellant.
Court of Appeals of New York.
January 16, 1923.3
 Bailment — where gratuitous bailee of furniture agrees, before receiving same, to procure insurance for owner's benefit and fails to do so it is liable for its loss by fire while in its charge.5
Where plaintiff, who had purchased furniture from defendant and was about to leave the city, arranged with defendant's creditman that the plaintiff should send his furniture by his own truck to the defendant's storehouse where defendant would keep it free of charge, and there is evidence sufficient to sustain a finding that, at the time of making these arrangements, and while the furniture was still in plaintiff's possession, the creditman also promised and agreed to insure the furniture for plaintiff's benefit, the promise was part of the whole transaction and was linked up with the gratuitous bailment. The bailee, if such a contract was within its creditman's agency — and his authority to act is not raised by any sufficient exception — was then under as much of an obligation to procure insurance as ho was to take care of the goods, and where no insurance was placed upon the furniture and it was destroyed by flre after delivery at the warehouse the defendant is liable for the loss. (Thome v. Deas, 4 Johns. 84, 99, distinguished and questioned.)6
Siegel v. Spear & Co., 195 App. Div. 845, affirmed.7
(Submitted November 22, 1922; decided January 16, 1923.)8
APPEAL, by permission, from a judgment of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the first judicial department, entered May 17, 1921, which affirmed a determination of the Appellate Term affirming a judgment of the City Court of the city of New York in favor of plaintiff entered upon a verdict.9
Alfred A. Walter and Edwin B. Wolff for appellant. There was no consideration for the defendant's alleged promise to effect insurance. (Thorne v. Deas, 4 Johns. 84; Glanzer v. Shepard, 233 N. Y. 236; Nellis v. DeForest, 16 Barb. 61; Ainsworth v. Backus, 4 Hun, 414; Condon v.  Exton-Hall Brokerage V. Agency, 80 Misc. Rep. 369; Rose v. U. S. Tel. Co., 3 Abb. Pr. [N. S.] 408; 34 How. Pr. 308; 6 Robt. 305; Boniface v. Relyea, 5 Abb. Pr. [N. S.] 259; 36 How. Pr. 457, 465; 6 Robt. 397; Doupe v. Gennin, 37 How. Pr. 5; 1 Sweeney, 25; Harrigan v. Cahill, 100 Misc. Rep. 48; 164 N. Y. Supp. 1005; Stone v. Demarest, 95 Misc. Rep. 543; 159 N. Y. Supp. 800; Miller v. Inter. Harvester Co., 193 App. Div. 258; 184 N. Y. Supp. 91.) There was no valid contract to secure the issuance of a policy of insurance. (May on Ins. [4th ed.] § 43; Bradley v. Standard L. & Ace. Ins. Co., 112 App. Div. 536; Baptist Church v. Brooklyn Fire Ins. Co., 28 N. Y. 153.)10
Lawrence B. Cohen and Gilbert M. Levy for respondent. The plaintiff's abandonment of his purpose to insure, in reliance on the defendant's promise, was a sufficient consideration for the defendant's promise. (Trustees v. Smith, 118 N. Y. 634; Draper v. O. C. Fire Relief Assn., 190 N. Y. 16; Witherell v. Kelly, 195 App. Div. 227.)11
The plaintiff commenced this action in the City Court of the city of New York to recover his loss sustained by failure of the defendant to insure his household furniture stored in its storehouse. The action is based upon an alleged agreement to insure made with the defendant's creditman. So far the plaintiff has been successful, the Appellate Division, however, certifying that in its opinion there is a question of law involved which should be reviewed by this court.13
In August of 1917 and January of 1918 the plaintiff purchased of the defendant certain household furniture for the sum of $909.25 and took it to his apartment in New York city. He gave back to the defendant two chattel mortgages, which provided for monthly payments of the purchase price, and also that the furniture should not be removed from the plaintiff's-residence without the written consent of the mortgagee.14
 By May of 1918 the plaintiff had paid in all $295. In that month, desiring to move from the city for the summer months and give up his apartment, the plaintiff went to the defendant's place of business in New York city to see about storing his furniture until his return. It was arranged with the defendant's creditman, McGrath, that the plaintiff should send his furniture by his own truck to the defendant's storehouse and that the defendant would keep it for him free of charge. It is claimed that McGrath at the time of making these arrangements also promised and agreed to insure the furniture for the plaintiff's benefit. The furniture had not been insured by the plaintiff at any time. The conversation is given by Mr. Siegel as follows:15
"At that time he said, 'You had better transfer your insurance policy over to our warehouse.' I said 'I haven't any insurance. I never thought of taking it out, as I never had time to take it out.' But I said: ' Before the furniture comes down I will have my insurance man, who insures my life, have the furniture insured and transferred over to your place.' He said, 'That won't be necessary to get that from him; I will do it for you; it will be a good deal cheaper; I handle lots of insurance; when you get the next bill — you can send a check for that with the next installment.'"
The furniture was sent to the defendant's storehouse about the 15th of May and about the 15th of the following June was destroyed by fire. No insurance had been placed upon it.
Upon these facts the plaintiff has recovered the amount of his loss. The defendant raises at least two objections to this result. It claims first, that there was no consideration for the alleged agreement made with McGrath to insure the furniture and, second, that McGrath had no authority to make any such contract even if he did.19
We are inclined to think that if the contract were made — and we must assume it was as there is evi-dence to sustain the findings of the jury to this effect — there was in the nature of the case a consideration sufficient to sustain the promise. It is, of course, a fact that the defendant undertook to store the plaintiff's property without any compensation. The fact that it had a chattel mortgage upon the property did not affect its relationship as a bailee without pay. Under these circumstances it was not liable for the destruction of the goods by fire unless due to its gross neglect. (Van Zile on Bailments & Carriers, § 93; First Nat. Bank of Lyons v. Ocean Nat. Bank, 60 N. Y. 278.) There is no such element in this case.
But if in connection with taking the goods McGrath also voluntarily undertook to procure insurance for the plaintiff's benefit, the promise was part of the whole transaction and was linked up with the gratuitous bailment. The bailee, if such a contract were within McGrath's agency, was then under as much of an obligation to procure insurance as he was to take care of the goods.21
When McGrath stated that he would insure the furniture it was still in the plaintiff's possession. It was after his statements and promises that the plaintiff sent the furniture to the storehouse. The defendant or McGrath entered upon the execution of the trust. It is in this particular that this case differs from Thorne v. Deas (4 Johns. 84, 99) so much relied upon by the defendant. In that case A and B were joint owners of a vessel. A voluntarily undertook to get the vessel insured but neglected to do so. The vessel having been lost at sea it was held that no action would lie against A for the non-performance of his promise, although B had relied upon that promise to his loss. It was said that there was no consideration for the promise. In that case there was the mere naked promise of A that he would insure the vessel. B parted with nothing to A. He gave up possession of none of his property to A, nor of any  interest in his vessel. The case would have been decided differently, no doubt, if he had. As Chancellor KENT said in referring to the earlier cases: "There was no dispute or doubt, but that an action upon the case lay for a misfeasance, in the breach of a trust undertaken voluntarily."22
The same may be said regarding the case of Brawn v. Lyford (103 Me. 362).23
In the case of Rutgers v. Lucet (2 Johns. Cas. 92, 95) the law on this point was stated to be as follows:24
"A mere agreement to undertake a trust, in futuro, without compensation, it is true, is not obligatory; but when once undertaken, and the trust actually entered upon, the bailee is bound to perform it, according to the terms of his agreement. The confidence placed in him, and his undertaking to execute the trust, raise a sufficient consideration; a contrary doctrine would tend to injure and deceive his employer, who might be unwilling to consent to the bailment on any other terms."
In Hammond v. Hussey (51 N. H. 40, 50) the court, quoting Professor Parsons, says: " If a person makes a gratuitous promise, and then enters upon the performance of it, he is held to a full execution of all he has undertaken."27
Where one had gratuitously undertaken to carry the money of a bailor to a certain place and deliver it to another and after receiving the money the bailee gave it to a neighbor who undertook to make delivery and lost it, it was held that the bailee had violated his trust in handling the money, that he was guilty of gross negligence in not fulfilling the terms of the bailment. (Colyar v. Taylor, 41 Tenn. 372; Van Zile on Bailments & Carriers, § 98; Davis v. Gay, 141 Mass. 531, 534; Isham v. Post, 141 N. Y. 100, 106; Glanzer v. Shepard, 233 N. Y. 236; 6 Ruling Case Law, p. 656, § 67)28
From this aspect of the case we think there was a consideration for the agreement to insure. This renders  it unnecessary to determine whether the plaintiff in refraining from insuring through his own agent at the suggestion of McGrath surrendered any right which would furnish a consideration for McGrath's promise.29
I find that Thome v. Deas (supra) has been seldom cited upon this question of consideration and whether or not we would feel bound to follow it to-day must be left open until the question comes properly before us.30
As to McGrath's authority to act in this matter, we do not find the point raised by any sufficient exception. For the reasons here stated, the judgment must be affirmed, with costs.
HISCOCK, Ch. J., HOGAN, CARDOZO, POUND, MCLAUGHLIN and ANDREWS, JJ., concur.32
322 S.W. 2d 1632
Nos. 30183, 30204.
St. Louis Court of Appeals, Missouri.
March 17, 1959.
Motion for Rehearing or for Transfer to Supreme Court Denied.
April 13, 1959.
[322 S.W.2d 164] Robert S. Allen; Lewis, Rice, Tucker, Allen & Chubb, St. Louis, for appellant.5
J. Leonard Kline, Sylvan Agatstein, St. Louis, for respondent.6
This is a suit brought in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis by plaintiff, a former employee of the defendant corporation, on an alleged contract whereby defendant agreed to pay plaintiff the sum of $200 per month for life upon her retirement. A jury being waived, the case was tried by the court alone. Judgment below was for plaintiff for $5,100, the amount of the pension claimed to be due as of the date of the trial, together with interest thereon, and defendant duly appealed.8
The parties are in substantial agreement on the essential facts. Plaintiff began working for the defendant, a manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, in 1910, when she was but 17 years of age. By 1947 she had attained the position of bookkeeper, office manager, and assistant treasurer of the defendant, and owned 70 shares of its stock out of a total of 6,503 shares issued and outstanding. Twenty shares had been given to her by the defendant or its then president, she had purchased 20, and the remaining 30 she had acquired by a stock split or stock dividend. Over the years she received substantial dividends on the stock she owned, as did all of the other stockholders. Also, in addition to her salary, plaintiff from 1937 to 1949, inclusive, received each year a bonus varying in amount from $300 in the beginning to $2,000 in the later years.9
On December 27, 1947, the annual meeting of the defendant's Board of Directors was held at the Company's offices in St. Louis, presided over by Max Lippman, its then president and largest individual stockholder. The other directors present were George L. Marcus, Sidney Harris, Sol Flammer, and Walter Weinstock, who, with Max Lippman, owned 5,007 of the 6,503 shares then issued and outstanding. At that meeting the Board of Directors adopted the following resolution, which, because it is the crux of the case, we quote in full:10
The Chairman thereupon pointed out that the Assistant Treasurer, Mrs. Anna Sacks Feinberg, has given the corporation many years of long and faithful service. Not only has she served the corporation devotedly, but with exceptional ability and skill. The President pointed out that although all of the officers and directors sincerely hoped and desired that Mrs. Feinberg would continue in her present position for as long as she felt able, nevertheless, in view of the length of service which she has contributed provision should be made to afford her retirement privileges and benefits which should become a firm obligation of the corporation to be available to her whenever she should see fit to retire from active duty, however many years in the future such retirement may become effective. It was, accordingly, [322 S.W.2d 165] proposed that Mrs. Feinberg's salary which is presently $350.00 per month, be increased to $400.00 per month, and that Mrs. Feinberg would be given the privilege of retiring from active duty at any time she may elect to see fit so to do upon a retirement pay of $200.00 per month for life, with the distinct understanding that the retirement plan is merely being adopted at the present time in order to afford Mrs. Feinberg security for the future and in the hope that her active services will continue with the corporation for many years to come. After due discussion and consideration, and upon motion duly made and seconded, it was —
Resolved, that the salary of Anna Sacks Feinberg be increased from $350.00 to $400.00 per month and that she be afforded the privilege of retiring from active duty in the corporation at any time she may elect to see fit so to do upon retirement pay of $200.00 per month, for the remainder of her life.
At the request of Mr. Lippman his sons-in-law, Messrs. Harris and Flammer, called upon the plaintiff at her apartment on the same day to advise her of the passage of the resolution. Plaintiff testified on cross-examination that she had no prior information that such a pension plan was contemplated, that it came as a surprise to her, and that she would have continued in her employment whether or not such a resolution had been adopted. It is clear from the evidence that there was no contract, oral or written, as to plaintiff's length of employment, and that she was free to quit, and the defendant to discharge her, at any time.12
Plaintiff did continue to work for the defendant through June 30, 1949, on which date she retired. In accordance with the foregoing resolution, the defendant began paying her the sum of $200 on the first of each month. Mr. Lippman died on November 18, 1949, and was succeeded as president of the company by his widow. Because of an illness, she retired from that office and was succeeded in October, 1953, by her son-in-law, Sidney M. Harris. Mr. Harris testified that while Mrs. Lippman had been president she signed the monthly pension check paid plaintiff, but fussed about doing so, and considered the payments as gifts. After his election, he stated, a new accounting firm employed by the defendant questioned the validity of the payments to plaintiff on several occasions, and in the Spring of 1956, upon its recommendation, he consulted the Company's then attorney, Mr. Ralph Kalish. Harris testified that both Ernst and Ernst, the accounting firm, and Kalish told him there was no need of giving plaintiff the money. He also stated that he had concurred in the view that the payments to plaintiff were mere gratuities rather than amounts due under a contractual obligation, and that following his discussion with the Company's attorney plaintiff was sent a check for $100 on April 1, 1956. Plaintiff declined to accept the reduced amount, and this action followed. Additional facts will be referred to later in this opinion.13
Appellant's first assignment of error relates to the admission in evidence of plaintiff's testimony over its objection, that at the time of trial she was sixty-five and a half years old, and that she was no longer able to engage in gainful employment because of the removal of a cancer and the performance of a colocholecystostomy operation on November 25, 1957. Its complaint is not so much that such evidence was irrelevant and immaterial, as it is that the trial court erroneously made it one basis for its decision in favor of plaintiff. As defendant concedes, the error (if it was error) in the admission of such evidence would not be a ground for reversal, since, this being a jury-waived case, we are constrained by the statutes to review it upon both the law and the evidence, Sec. 510.310 RSMo 1949, V.A.M.S., and to render such judgment as the court below ought [322 S.W.2d 166] to have given. Section 512.160, Minor v. Lillard, Mo., 289 S.W.2d 1; Thumm v. Lohr, Mo.App., 306 S.W.2d 604. We consider only such evidence as is admissible, and need not pass upon questions of error in the admission and exclusion of evidence. Hussey v. Robinson, Mo., 285 S.W.2d 603. However, in fairness to the trial court it should be stated that while he briefly referred to the state of plaintiff's health as of the time of the trial in his amended findings of fact, it is obvious from his amended grounds for decision and judgment that it was not, as will be seen, the basis for his decision.14
Appellant's next complaint is that there was insufficient evidence to support the court's findings that plaintiff would not have quit defendant's employ had she not known and relied upon the promise of defendant to pay her $200 a month for life, and the finding that, from her voluntary retirement until April 1, 1956, plaintiff relied upon the continued receipt of the pension installments. The trial court so found, and, in our opinion, justifiably so. Plaintiff testified, and was corroborated by Harris, defendant's witness, that knowledge of the passage of the resolution was communicated to her on December 27, 1947, the very day it was adopted. She was told at that time by Harris and Flammer, she stated, that she could take the pension as of that day, if she wished. She testified further that she continued to work for another year and a half, through June 30, 1949; that at that time her health was good and she could have continued to work, but that after working for almost forty years she thought she would take a rest. Her testimony continued:15
Q. Now, what was the reason — I'm sorry. Did you then quit the employment of the company after you — after this year and a half? A. Yes.
Q. What was the reason that you left? A. Well, I thought almost forty years, it was a long time and I thought I would take a little rest.
Q. Yes. A. And with the pension and what earnings my husband had, we figured we could get along.
Q. Did you rely upon this pension? A. We certainly did.
Q. Being paid?
A. Very much so. We relied upon it because I was positive that I was going to get it as long as I lived.
Q. Would you have left the employment of the company at that time had it not been for this pension?
Mr. Allen: Just a minute, I object to that as calling for a conclusion and conjecture on the part of this witness.
The Court: It will be overruled.
Q. (Mr. Agatstein continuing): Go ahead, now. The question is whether you would have quit the employment of the company at that time had you not relied upon this pension plan?
A. No, I wouldn't.
Q. You would not have. Did you ever seek employment while this pension was being paid to you —
A. (interrupting): No.
Q. Wait a minute, at any time prior — at any other place?
A. No, sir.
Q. Were you able to hold any other employment during that time?
A. Yes, I think so.
Q. Was your health good?
A. My health was good.
It is obvious from the foregoing that there was ample evidence to support the findings of fact made by the court below.17
We come, then, to the basic issue in the case. While otherwise defined in defendant's third and fourth assignments of error, it is thus succinctly stated in the argument in its brief: “. . . whether plaintiff has proved that she has a right to recover from defendant based upon a legally binding [322 S.W.2d 167] contractual obligation to pay her $200 per month for life.”18
It is defendant's contention, in essence, that the resolution adopted by its Board of Directors was a mere promise to make a gift, and that no contract resulted either thereby, or when plaintiff retired, because there was no consideration given or paid by the plaintiff. It urges that a promise to make a gift is not binding unless supported by a legal consideration; that the only apparent consideration for the adoption of the foregoing resolution was the “many years of long and faithful service” expressed therein; and that past services are not a valid consideration for a promise. Defendant argues further that there is nothing in the resolution which made its effectiveness conditional upon plaintiff's continued employment, that she was not under contract to work for any length of time but was free to quit whenever she wished, and that she had no contractual right to her position and could have been discharged at any time.19
Plaintiff concedes that a promise based upon past services would be without consideration, but contends that there were two other elements which supplied the required element: First, the continuation by plaintiff in the employ of the defendant for the period from December 27, 1947, the date when the resolution was adopted, until the date of her retirement on June 30, 1949. And, second, her change of position, i. e., her retirement, and the abandonment by her of her opportunity to continue in gainful employment, made in reliance on defendant's promise to pay her $200 per month for life.20
We must agree with the defendant that the evidence does not support the first of these contentions. There is no language in the resolution predicating plaintiff's right to a pension upon her continued employment. She was not required to work for the defendant for any period of time as a condition to gaining such retirement benefits. She was told that she could quit the day upon which the resolution was adopted, as she herself testified, and it is clear from her own testimony that she made no promise or agreement to continue in the employ of the defendant in return for its promise to pay her a pension. Hence there was lacking that mutuality of obligation which is essential to the validity of a contract. Middleton v. Holecraft, Mo.App., 270 S.W.2d 90; Solace v. T. J. Moss Tie Co., Mo.App., 142 S.W.2d 1079; Aslin v. Stoddard County, 341 Mo. 138, 106 S.W.2d 472; Fuqua v. Lumbermen's Supply Co., 229 Mo.App. 210, 76 S.W.2d 715; Hudson v. Browning, 264 Mo. 58, 174 S.W. 393; Campbell v. American Handle Co., 117 Mo.App. 19, 94 S.W. 815.21
But as to the second of these contentions we must agree with plaintiff. By the terms of the resolution defendant promised to pay plaintiff the sum of $200 a month upon her retirement. Consideration for a promise has been defined in the Restatement of the Law of Contracts, Section 75, as:22
(1) Consideration for a promise is
(a) an act other than a promise, or
(b) a forbearance, or
(c) the creation, modification or destruction of a legal relation, or
(d) a return promise, bargained for and given in exchange for the promise.
As the parties agree, the consideration sufficient to support a contract may be either a benefit to the promisor or a loss or detriment to the promisee. Industrial Bank & Trust Co. v. Hesselberg, Mo., 195 S.W.2d 470; State ex rel. Kansas City v. State Highway Commission, 349 Mo. 865, 163 S.W.2d 948; Duvall v. Duncan, 341 Mo. 1129, 111 S.W.2d 89; Thompson v. McCune, 333 Mo. 758, 63 S.W.2d 41.24
Section 90 of the Restatement of the Law of Contracts states that: “A promise which the promisor should reasonably expect to induce action or forbearance of a [322 S.W.2d 168] definite and substantial character on the part of the promisee and which does induce such action or forbearance is binding if injustice can be avoided only by enforcement of the promise.” This doctrine has been described as that of “promissory estoppel,” as distinguished from that of equitable estoppel or estoppel in pais, the reason for the differentiation being stated as follows:25
It is generally true that one who has led another to act in reasonable reliance on his representations of fact cannot afterwards in litigation between the two deny the truth of the representations, and some courts have sought to apply this principle to the formation of contracts, where, relying on a gratuitous promise, the promisee has suffered detriment. It is to be noticed, however, that such a case does not come within the ordinary definition of estoppel. If there is any representation of an existing fact, it is only that the promisor at the time of making the promise intends to fulfill it. As to such intention there is usually no misrepresentation and if there is, it is not that which has injured the promisee. In other words, he relies on a promise and not on a misstatement of fact; and the term “promissory” estoppel or something equivalent should be used to make the distinction.
Williston on Contracts, Rev. Ed., Sec. 139, Vol. 1.
In speaking of this doctrine, Judge Learned Hand said in Porter v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 2 Cir., 60 F.2d 673, 675, that “. . . 'promissory estoppel' is now a recognized species of consideration.”
As pointed out by our Supreme Court in In re Jamison's Estate, Mo., 202 S.W.2d 879, 887, it is stated in the Missouri Annotations to the Restatement under Section 90 that:28
"'There is a variance between the doctrine underlying this section and the theoretical justifications that have been advanced for the Missouri decisions.'"
That variance, as the authors of the Annotations point out, is that:30
This §90, when applied with §85, means that the promise described is a contract without any consideration. In Missouri the same practical result is reached without in theory abandoning the doctrine of consideration. In Missouri three theories have been advanced as ground for the decisions (1) Theory of act for promise. The induced 'action or forbearance' is the consideration for the promise. Underwood Typewriter Co. v. Century Realty Co. (1909) 220 Mo. 522, 119 S.W. 400, 25 L.R.A., N.S., 1173. See Sec. 76. (2) Theory of promissory estoppel. The induced 'action or forbearance' works an estoppel against the promisor. (Citing School District of Kansas City v. Sheidley (1897) 138 Mo. 672, 40 S. W. 656 [37 L.R.A. 406]) . . . (3) Theory of bilateral contract. When the induced 'action or forbearance' is begun, a promise to complete is implied, and we have an enforceable bilateral contract, the implied promise to complete being the consideration for the original promise.
Was there such an act on the part of plaintiff, in reliance upon the promise contained in the resolution, as will estop the defendant, and therefore create an enforceable contract under the doctrine of promissory estoppel? We think there was. One of the illustrations cited under Section 90 of the Restatement is: “2. A promises B to pay him an annuity during B's life. B thereupon resigns a profitable employment, as A expected that he might. B receives the annuity for some years, in the meantime becoming disqualified from again obtaining good employment. A's promise is binding.” This illustration is objected to by defendant as not being applicable to the case at hand. The reason advanced by it is [322 S.W.2d 169] that in the illustration B became “disqualified” from obtaining other employment before A discontinued the payments, whereas in this case the plaintiff did not discover that she had cancer and thereby became unemployable until after the defendant had discontinued the payments of $200 per month. We think the distinction is immaterial. The only reason for the reference in the illustration to the disqualification of A is in connection with that part of Section 90 regarding the prevention of injustice. The injustice would occur regardless of when the disability occurred. Would defendant contend that the contract would be enforceable if the plaintiff's illness had been discovered on March 31, 1956, the day before it discontinued the payment of the $200 a month, but not if it occurred on April 2nd, the day after? Furthermore, there are more ways to become disqualified for work, or unemployable, than as the result of illness. At the time she retired plaintiff was 57 years of age. At the time the payments were discontinued she was over 63 years of age. It is a matter of common knowledge that it is virtually impossible for a woman of that age to find satisfactory employment, much less a position comparable to that which plaintiff enjoyed at the time of her retirement.33
The fact of the matter is that plaintiff's subsequent illness was not the “action or forbearance” which was induced by the promise contained in the resolution. As the trial court correctly decided, such action on plaintiff's part was her retirement from a lucrative position in reliance upon defendant's promise to pay her an annuity or pension. In a very similar case, Ricketts v. Scothorn, 57 Neb. 51, 77 N.W. 365, 367, 42 L.R.A. 794, the Supreme Court of Nebraska said:34
. . . According to the undisputed proof, as shown by the record before us, the plaintiff was a working girl, holding a position in which she earned a salary of $10 per week. Her grandfather, desiring to put her in a position of independence, gave her the note accompanying it with the remark that his other grandchildren did not work, and that she would not be obliged to work any longer. In effect, he suggested that she might abandon her employment, and rely in the future upon the bounty which he promised. He doubtless desired that she should give up her occupation, but, whether he did or not, it is entirely certain that he contemplated such action on her part as a reasonable and probable consequence of his gift. Having intentionally influenced the plaintiff to alter her position for the worse on the faith of the note being paid when due, it would be grossly inequitable to permit the maker, or his executor, to resist payment on the ground that the promise was given without consideration.
The Commissioner therefore recommends, for the reasons stated, that the judgment be affirmed.36
PER CURIAM. The foregoing opinion by DOERNER, C., is adopted as the opinion of the court. The judgment is, accordingly, affirmed.37
WOLFE, P. J., and ANDERSON and RUDDY, JJ., concur.
Supreme Court of Connecticut.
PETERS, C. J., DANNEHY, SANTANIELLO, CALLAHAN and KLINE, JS.8
 Thomas E. Crosby, for the appellants (defendants).9
Joseph D. Garrison, with whom was Nancy E. Fey, for the appellee (plaintiff).10
This case arises out of the failure of a school board to rehire a nontenured teacher despite representations that she would receive a new employment contract. The plaintiff, Maria D'Ulisse-Cupo, filed a three count complaint against the defendants, the board of directors of Notre Dame High School and the principal of the school, George Schmitz, seeking damages premised on liability for breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation. The trial court rendered judgment against her after granting the motion of the defendants to strike all three counts of her complaint for failure to state a cause of action. Upon appeal to the Appellate Court, that court found error and remanded the case for further trial court proceedings on all counts. D'Ulisse-Cupo v. Board of Directors of Notre Dame High School, 6 Conn. App. 153, 503 A.2d 1192 (1986). We granted certification at the request of the defendants and now conclude that the Appellate Court's judgment must be reversed with respect to the plaintiff's contract counts, so that further trial court proceedings will be limited to the plaintiff's tort claim only.12
 Since this appeal is before us pursuant to a motion to strike, we take the facts to be those alleged in the plaintiff's complaint and construe the complaint in the manner most favorable to the pleader. Norwich v. Silverberg, 200 Conn. 367, 370, 511 A.2d 336 (1986); Mead v. Burns, 199 Conn. 651, 655, 509 A.2d 11 (1986); Cavallo v. Derby Savings Bank, 188 Conn. 281, 283, 449 A.2d 986 (1982); Sheets v. Teddy's Frosted Foods, Inc., 179 Conn. 471, 472, 427 A.2d 385 (1980); Stradmore Development Corporation v. Commissioners, 164 Conn. 548, 550-51, 324 A.2d 919 (1973). "`For purposes of appeal, all well-pleaded facts and those facts necessarily implied from the allegations are taken as admitted....'" Mead v. Burns, supra; DeMello v. Plainville, 170 Conn. 675, 677, 368 A.2d 71 (1976); McAnerney v. McAnerney, 165 Conn. 277, 282, 334 A.2d 437 (1973).13
The plaintiff alleged the following facts in her complaint. From September, 1981, to June, 1983, she taught Spanish and Italian to ninth and tenth grade students at Notre Dame High School in West Haven. During that period, she was employed under an employment contract which expired in June, 1983. On or about March 21, 1983, the defendant Schmitz, the school principal, orally represented to the plaintiff, during a performance review, that "there would be no problem with her teaching certain courses and levels the following year, that everything looked fine for rehire for the next year, and that she should continue her planning for the exchange program" which she organized for the school. Shortly thereafter, during the week of April 11, 1983, Schmitz or his authorized representative posted a written notice on a bulletin board in the school stating: "All present faculty members will be offered contracts for next year." Upon her return from an exchange trip to Italy, the plaintiff was again informed that she would have a teaching contract for the following year. On  or about May 4, 1983, however, the plaintiff was told by school officials that, due to staff cutbacks in various departments, her teaching contract would not be renewed.14
The complaint further alleged that Schmitz interviewed the plaintiff for a position in the English department on or about May 27, 1983. Schmitz told the plaintiff and other teachers that the defendants would do everything possible to avoid discharging them. Subsequently, instead of hiring the plaintiff for the position available in the English department, the defendants hired an outside applicant for that position. Furthermore, the defendants allegedly failed to explore alternative job opportunities for the plaintiff or to offer her any substitute teaching positions for which she was qualified and available.15
The three counts of the plaintiff's complaint sought recovery of damages on the following legal theories: (1) breach of contract arising out of the defendants' failure to rehire the plaintiff despite oral and written promises of a new contract, on which the plaintiff relied to her detriment; (2) liability in tort because of negligent misrepresentions that the plaintiff would be rehired to teach for a third year, representations on which the plaintiff relied to her detriment; and (3) breach of contract arising out of the defendants' oral promises to avoid discharging teachers unnecessarily and to offer the plaintiff substitute teaching positions, promises on which the plaintiff relied to her detriment. The complaint further alleged that, as a result of these wrongful actions by the defendants, the plaintiff suffered the following damages: the stress of unemployment, loss of esteem, damage to her professional career and reputation, lost wages and fringe benefits, and mental and physical pain and suffering.16
 The defendants moved to strike the complaint on the ground that it failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The trial court granted the motion as to all three counts for reasons articulated in its memorandum of decision. On the first count, which alleged, inter alia, that the plaintiff had been wrongfully discharged, the court concluded that no cause of action had been stated because the doctrine of wrongful discharge protects only employees at will. Magnan v. Anaconda Industries, Inc., 193 Conn. 558, 569, 479 A.2d 781 (1984); Sheets v. Teddy's Frosted Foods, Inc., 179 Conn. 471, 477, 427 A.2d 385 (1980). Relying on the allegations in the complaint, the court found that the plaintiff was not an employee at will, but rather an employee hired pursuant to a term contract of fixed duration. The court therefore found that the plaintiff had not been discharged from her employment; she simply had not been rehired upon the expiration of her contract. The court struck the second count, sounding in negligent misrepresentation, because the plaintiff did not allege that the defendants had "fail[ed] to exercise reasonable care or competence in obtaining or communicating the information." 3 Restatement (Second), Torts (1979) § 552. The court determined that the third count, which alleged a further claim for breach of contract, failed to establish such a claim because there was no allegation that the defendants had offered the plaintiff future employment or that she had accepted such an offer. Alternatively, the court found that the third count failed to state a claim grounded in detrimental reliance because there was no allegation that the defendants, by virtue of their representations to the plaintiff, had "reasonably expect[ed] to induce action or forbearance" of a definite and substantial character. 1 Restatement (Second), Contracts § 90 (1979).17
In reviewing the judgment of the trial court, the Appellate Court addressed each count of the complaint  separately. The court initially determined that the first count, although cast as a claim for wrongful discharge, was in fact a claim based on a theory of implied contract arising out of the defendants' alleged promises to rehire the plaintiff. D`Ulisse-Cupo v. Board of Directors of Notre Dame High School, supra, 157. The complaint contained allegations that the defendants had made representations concerning rehiring and promises that "all present faculty members will be offered contracts for next year." The court determined that these allegations, coupled with the allegation that the plaintiff had relied on these promises to her detriment, formed the basis of an actionable claim for breach of an implied promise to rehire. Id., 159. With respect  to the second count, the court concluded that, even absent formal invocation of all of the language of § 552 of the Restatement Second of Torts (1979), the plaintiff's allegation of negligent misrepresentation was sufficient to withstand a motion to strike. D`Ulisse-Cupo v. Board of Directors of Notre Dame High School, supra, 160. Addressing the third count, the court found that, although the plaintiff had not pleaded that the defendants "reasonably expected to induce action or forbearance" in making various representations to the plaintiff, that count likewise stated a claim for breach of an implied contract based on a theory of promissory estoppel. Id. The Appellate Court therefore set aside the judgment of the trial court and remanded the case for further proceedings.18
In their appeal to this court following our granting of their petition for certification, the defendants challenge each of these conclusions of the Appellate Court. We agree with their claims with regard to the contract counts, counts one and three, but we disagree with respect to the second count alleging liablity for tortious misrepresentation.19
We will address jointly the defendants' attack on counts one and three, both of which contest the Appellate Court's conclusions that the various oral and written representations made by the defendants are promises that are enforceable under the doctrine of promissory estoppel. In contesting the first count, the defendants  maintained that the oral and written representations they had made regarding their intent to rehire the plaintiff for a third year did not rise to the level of promises which are enforceable based on detrimental reliance. They further argued that the third count should also be stricken because their subsequent oral representations to the plaintiff, that they would make every effort to avoid discharging teachers and to find alternate employment for the plaintiff, likewise did not amount to promises on which the plaintiff could reasonably have relied. We find both of these arguments persuasive.21
Under the law of contract, a promise is generally not enforceable unless it is supported by consideration. E. Farnsworth, Contracts (1982) § 2.9, p. 89; A. Corbin, Contracts (1963) § 193, p. 188. This court has recognized, however, the "development of liability in contract for action induced by reliance upon a promise, despite the absence of common-law consideration normally required to bind a promisor; see Restatement (Second), Contracts § 90 (1973)." Sheets v. Teddy's Frosted Foods, Inc., supra, 475; Hebrew University Assn. v. Nye, 148 Conn. 223, 232, 169 A.2d 641 (1961); see A. Corbin, supra, § 194, p. 193. Section 90 of the Restatement Second states that under the doctrine of promissory estoppel "[a] promise which the promisor should reasonably expect to induce action or forbearance on the part of the promisee or a third person and which does induce such action or forbearance is binding if injustice can be avoided only by enforcement of the promise." A fundamental element of promissory estoppel, therefore, is the existence of a clear and definite promise which a promisor could reasonably have expected to induce reliance. Thus, a promisor is not liable to a promisee who has relied on a promise if, judged by an objective standard, he had no reason to expect any reliance at all. E. Farnsworth, supra, § 2.19, p. 95.22
 In reviewing the legal sufficiency of the claims based on detrimental reliance alleged in the first and third counts, the question before us is whether the various oral and written statements made by the defendants constituted promises within the meaning of § 90 of the Restatement Second. Count one alleges three distinct representations on which the plaintiff allegedly relied to her detriment. The first is the defendant Schmitz's oral representation "that there would be no problem with her teaching certain courses and levels the following year, that everything looked fine for her rehire for the next year, and that she should continue her planning for the exchange program." The second is the notice posted on the school bulletin board stating: "All present faculty members will be offered contracts for next year." The third is a subsequent representation to the plaintiff again informing her that she would have a contract for the following year.23
We agree with the defendants that these representations do not invoke a cause of action for promissory estoppel because they are neither sufficiently promissory nor sufficiently definite to support contractual liability. The statements alleged to be actionable in the first count were, on their face, no more than representations indicating that the defendants intended to enter into another employment contract with the plaintiff at some time in the future. There is no claim that these representations were not made in good faith. Contrary to the plaintiff's assertion, these representations manifested no present intention on the part of the defendants  to undertake immediate contractual obligations to the plaintiff. See, e.g., Local 1330, United Steel Workers v. United States Steel Corporation, 631 F.2d 1264, 1279 (6th Cir. 1980); Abbington v. Dayton Malleable, Inc., 561 F. Sup. 1290, 1297 (S.D. Ohio 1983), aff'd, 738 F.2d 438 (6th Cir. 1984); A & M Fix-It, Inc. v. Schwinn Bicycle Co., 494 F. Sup. 175, 178 (D. Utah 1980); Pacific Cascade Corporation v. Nimmer, 25 Wash. App. 552, 559, 608 P.2d 266 (1980). Furthermore, none of the representations contained any of the material terms that would be essential to an employment contract, such as terms regarding the duration and conditions of the plaintiff's employment, and her salary and fringe benefits. Augeri v. C.F. Wooding Co., 173 Conn. 426, 429-30, 378 A.2d 538 (1977); A. Corbin, supra, § 95. At most, the defendants made representations to the plaintiff concerning the expectation of a future contract, but they stopped short of making the plaintiff a definite promise of employment on which she could reasonably have relied.24
The oral promises alleged in the third count, on which the plaintiff also claims to have relied to her detriment, are even more tenuous than those alleged in the first count. After determining that student enrollment levels had declined, the defendant Schmitz allegedly told the plaintiff, in May of 1983, that the defendants would do everything possible to avoid discharging teachers. Nonetheless, the defendants subsequently hired an outside applicant, rather than the plaintiff, for a one year position available in the English department. The defendants also failed to offer the plaintiff substitute teaching positions for which she was allegedly qualified and available. At oral argument before this court, although the defendants conceded having made conciliatory statements of this nature to the plaintiff and other teachers, the defendants continued to maintain their position that these representations were not  intended as a guarantee of future employment on which the plaintiff or others were intended to rely. Possibly, as the plaintiff contends, the defendants did not do everything within their power to retain the plaintiff as an employee. In light of the vagueness and indefiniteness of their representations, however, and our underlying concern that "courts should not lightly intervene to impair the exercise of managerial discretion"; Sheets v. Teddy's Frosted Foods, Inc., supra, 477; we conclude that an offer to use best efforts does not, in and of itself, impose contractual liability in the circumstances alleged in this case.25
Because we disagree with the Appellate Court in its characterization of the plaintiff's complaint with respect to counts one and three, we reverse its judgment relating thereto. We note, for the sake of completeness, that the plaintiff has abandoned any claim that she may recover from the defendants, under count one, on a theory of wrongful discharge. No further proceedings  are warranted, therefore, with respect to counts one and three.26
The defendants' final challenge to the judgment of the Appellate Court claims error in its ruling that the second count states a cause of action in tort for negligent misrepresentation. The second count incorporated by reference all but one of the factual allegations detailed in the paragraphs set forth in the first count, and further alleged that "[t]he defendants negligently misrepresented the facts to the plaintiff, causing her damages as pled." The defendants contend that this count must be stricken because it does not allege that the defendants "fail[ed] to exercise reasonable care or competence in obtaining or communicating the information," which is the language used in § 552 of the Restatement Second of Torts (1979) to define negligence for purposes of such a claim. According to the defendants, the mere allegation that "[t]he defendants negligently misrepresented the facts to the plaintiff," even coupled with the facts alleged in the first count in support of that claim, was insufficient to sustain a cause of action for negligent misrepresentation. We disagree.28
This court has long recognized liability for negligent misrepresentation. We have held that even an innocent misrepresentation of fact "may be actionable if the declarant has the means of knowing, ought to know, or has the duty of knowing the truth." Richard v. A. Waldman & Sons, Inc., 155 Conn. 343, 346, 232 A.2d 307 (1967); see also J. Frederick Scholes Agency v. Mitchell, 191 Conn. 353, 359, 464 A.2d 795 (1983); Johnson v. Healy, 176 Conn. 97, 102, 405 A.2d 54 (1978); Warman v. Delaney, 148 Conn. 469, 473, 172 A.2d 188 (1961); Boucher v. Valus, 6 Conn. Cir. Ct. 661, 665-66, 298 A.2d 238 (1972). The governing principles are set forth in similar terms in § 552 of the Restatement  Second of Torts (1979): "One who, in the course of his business, profession or employment ... supplies false information for the guidance of others in their business transactions, is subject to liability for pecuniary loss caused to them by their justifiable reliance upon the information, if he fails to exercise reasonable care or competence in obtaining or communicating the information." See also Ultramares Corporation v. Touche, 255 N.Y. 170, 174 N.E. 441 (1931); Glanzer v. Shepard, 233 N.Y. 236, 135 N.E. 275 (1922); W. Prosser & W.P. Keeton, Torts (5th Ed. 1984) § 107, p. 745.29
The defendants argue, initially, that if they cannot be held liable in contract for their representations based on promissory estoppel, they likewise cannot be held liable in tort for negligent misrepresentation. For purposes of a cause of action for negligent misrepresentation, however, the plaintiff need not prove that the representations made by the defendants were promissory. It is sufficient to allege that the representations contained false information. The gravamen of the defendants' alleged negligence is that the defendants made unconditional representations of their plans to rehire the plaintiff, when in fact the defendants knew or should have known that hiring plans would be contingent upon student enrollment levels for the following year. Richard v. A. Waldman & Sons, Inc., supra, 346; 3 Restatement (Second), Torts (1979) § 552, comment. The defendants ultimately relied on declining student enrollment levels as the justification for the staff cutbacks that resulted in the elimination of the plaintiff's teaching position. If the plaintiff's complaint  otherwise contains the necessary elements of negligent misrepresentation, it survives a motion to strike even though the first and third counts grounded in promissory estoppel must fall.30
The defendants further object to the allegation of negligent misrepresentation on the ground that the complaint fails to explain the nature of the defendants' negligence, and instead alleges, in mere conclusory fashion, that the defendants "negligently misrepresented" certain facts. The defendants insist that the second count is fatally defective because it lacks an express allegation that the defendants "fail[ed] to exercise reasonable care or competence in obtaining or communicating the information." 3 Restatement (Second), Torts (1979) § 552. They offer no authority, however, for the proposition that the pleader must use the precise language of the Restatement Second to establish a claim for negligent misrepresentation. Although numerous courts have quoted directly from the Restatement Second in describing the elements of an action for negligent misrepresentation, we have discovered no cases, nor have the defendants furnished any, in which a court has struck a claim for negligent misrepresentation merely because the complaint lacked such an allegation. Stagen v. Stewart West Coast Title Co., 149 Cal. App. 3d 114, 119, 196 Cal. Rptr. 732 (1983); Eby v. York-Division, Borg-Warner, 455 N.E.2d 623, 628 (Ind. App. 1983); Tober's, Inc. v. Portsmouth Housing Authority, 116 N.H. 660, 663, 367 A.2d 603 (1976); Berry v. Playboy Enterprises, Inc., 195 N.J. Super. 520, 531, 480 A.2d 941 (1984), cert. denied, 99 N.J. 231, 491 A.2d 720 (1985); Rosenthal v. Blum, 529 S.W.2d 102, 104 (Tex. Civ. App. 1975). To the contrary, the case law in numerous jurisdictions suggests that courts liberally construe the pleadings in a way so as to sustain such a claim, particularly where the allegations in a complaint indicate, on their face, that an employer  failed to exercise reasonable care in making representations to an employee on which the employee relied to his detriment. McAfee v. Rockford Coca-Cola Bottling Co., 40 Ill. App. 3d 521, 527, 352 N.E.2d 50 (1976); Eby v. York-Division, Borg-Warner, supra, 629; Berry v. Playboy Enterprises, Inc., supra, 531-32; see also Muraoka v. Budget Rent-A-Car, Inc., 160 Cal. App. 3d 107, 119, 206 Cal. Rptr. 476 (1984); First National Bank v. Collins, 44 Colo. App. 228, 230, 616 P.2d 154 (1980); Rosenthal v. Blum, supra, 105.31
In our view, the plaintiff's allegation that "the defendants negligently misrepresented the facts to the plaintiff" necessarily implied that the defendants did not exercise reasonable care or competence in communicating with the plaintiff about her prospects for reemployment. Although the complaint could have alleged the nature of the defendants' negligence more precisely, the lack of linguistic specificity does not warrant striking the second count. As the Appellate Court noted, under the rules of practice governing pleading, a party may plead legal effect as long as the pleading "fairly [apprises] the adverse party of the state of facts which it is intended to prove." Practice Book § 109; see Practice Book § 108. We agree with the Appellate Court that the facts alleged by the plaintiff in this case fairly apprised the defendants of her intent to pursue a claim for negligent misrepresentation. Moreover, if the defendants were in doubt as to the nature of this claim or the legal theory underlying it, they could "have sought a more particular description of the negligence charged" by filing a request to revise. Scribner v. O'Brien, Inc., 169 Conn. 389, 399, 363 A.2d 160 (1975);32
 Practice Book § 147; Fuessenich v. DiNardo, 195 Conn. 144, 148, 487 A.2d 514 (1985); Manning v. Michael, 188 Conn. 607, 617, 452 A.2d 1157 (1982). The defendants in this case never filed such a request. We conclude, therefore, that the Appellate Court correctly determined that the plaintiff's allegation of negligent misrepresentation contained in the second count is sufficient to withstand a motion to strike. We affirm their holding that further proceedings are required on the second count.33
The judgment of the Appellate Court is reversed in part and the court is directed to remand the case for further proceedings in the trial court with respect to count two only.34
In this opinion the other justices concurred.35
 The plaintiff framed the first count, at least in part, as a claim for wrongful discharge. The Appellate Court first interpreted this claim as an allegation of wrongful termination arising out of the defendants' failure to rehire the plaintiff. D'Ulisse-Cupo v. Board of Directors of Notre Dame High School, 6 Conn. App. 153, 157, 503 A.2d 1192 (1986). The court therefore analyzed this claim in the context of recent case law in this state addressing the doctrine of wrongful discharge. See Magnan v. Anaconda Industries, Inc., 193 Conn. 558, 479 A.2d 781 (1984); Sheets v. Teddy's Frosted Foods, Inc., 179 Conn. 471, 427 A.2d 385 (1980); Finley v. Aetna Life & Casualty Co., 5 Conn. App. 394, 499 A.2d 64 (1985). The court's reliance on this line of cases, particularly on Finley v. Aetna Life & Casualty Co., supra, was misplaced because the right to recover in tort for wrongful discharge extends only to employees at will. As a general rule, contracts of permanent employment, or for an indefinite term, are terminable at will. Somers v. Cooley Chevrolet Co., 146 Conn. 627, 629, 153 A.2d 426 (1959); Fisher v. Jackson, 142 Conn. 734, 736, 118 A.2d 316 (1955). The doctrine of wrongful discharge, a narrow exception to this rule, provides that an employer may be liable for discharge of an at will employee at least in cases "where the discharge contravenes a clear mandate of public policy." Sheets v. Teddy's Frosted Foods, Inc., supra, 474. The plaintiff in this case, who was employed by the defendants pursuant to a term contract of fixed duration, was not an employee at will. She therefore was not entitled to invoke the doctrine of wrongful discharge.36
 The Appellate Court incorrectly analyzed the first and third counts based on a theory of breach of an implied in fact contract. "A contract implied in fact, like an express contract, depends on actual agreement." Therrien v. Safeguard Mfg. Co., 180 Conn. 91, 94, 429 A.2d 808 (1980); Brighenti v. New Britain Shirt Corporation, 167 Conn. 403, 406, 356 A.2d 181 (1974); Corriveau v. Jenkins Bros., 144 Conn. 383, 387, 132 A.2d 67 (1957). Neither the first count nor the third count alleges that the defendants "agreed, either by words or action or conduct, to undertake any form of actual contract commitment" to the plaintiff. Therrien v. Safeguard Mfg. Co., supra, 94-95. Thus, the plaintiff's only viable claim for recovery in contract rests on the doctrine of promissory estoppel. We therefore review the legal sufficiency of the first and third counts by analyzing them as claims based on promissory estoppel.37
 The plaintiff seeks to equate this notice with statements regarding terms of employment made by an employer in a personnel policy manual. In Finley v. Aetna Life & Casualty Co., 202 Conn. 190, 520 A.2d 208 (1987), we concluded that it is a question of fact for the jury whether statements made in a policy manual constitute a binding employment contract which modifies an otherwise at will employment relationship. We conclude that in this case the general notice regarding rehiring that was posted on the bulletin board is not the equivalent of such statements made in a policy manual.38
 Practice Book § 4013 (a) (1) (formerly § 3012 [a]), made applicable to proceedings after certification by Practice Book § 4140 (formerly § 3158), provides in relevant part: "If the appellee wishes to present for review alternate grounds upon which the judgment may be affirmed, or if he wishes to present for review adverse rulings or decisions of the court which should be considered on appeal in the event the appellant is awarded a new trial... he shall file a preliminary statement of issues within fourteen days from the filing of the appellant's preliminary statement of issues." An appellee who is aggrieved by the decision of the Appellate Court may file a cross petition for certification within ten days of the filing of the appellant's petition. Practice Book § 4131 (formerly § 3141); State v. Torrence, 196 Conn. 430, 434 n.6, 493 A.2d 865 (1985); see Hartford v. Freedom of Information Commission, 201 Conn. 421, 433, 518 A.2d 49 (1986). If the plaintiff wished to pursue her claim for wrongful discharge, she should have filed in this court a cross petition for certification, which she failed to do. Moreover, the plaintiff conceded at oral argument that she was not an employee at will. Having been employed under a term contract, she was not within the class of persons protected by the doctrine of wrongful discharge. She further conceded that the use of the term "wrongful discharge" in paragraph twelve of her complaint was inaccurate because she was never discharged; she simply was not rehired upon the expiration of her contract.39
 The complaint alleges generally that the "plaintiff relied to her detriment on these representations" and does not specifically describe the nature of the plaintiff's detrimental reliance. The plaintiff explained at oral argument that her reliance was in the nature of forbearance. She did not search for other employment, relying instead on the defendants' representations that she would be rehired.40
 Negligence has been defined as the "failure to use such care as a reasonably prudent and careful person would use under similar circumstances; it is the doing of some act which a person of ordinary prudence would not have done under similar circumstances...." Black's Law Dictionary (5th Ed. 1979).