Contracts Keyed to Summers
Cochran v. Robinhood Lane Baptist Church
The Robinhood Lane Baptist Church (Defendant) paid Reverend Eugene Cochran a salary and provided additional benefits, such as cell phone and beeper services, lawn services, and gas and vehicle maintenance. The additional benefits were also provided to Reverend Cochran’s wife, Annie Cochran (Plaintiff). After Reverend Cochran’s death, the Defendant entered into an agreement with Plaintiff, agreeing to give her approximately $784 on the first and third Sundays of each month for five years, as well as lawn services for her home. The agreement provided that Plaintiff would receive the benefits until her death or remarriage. Additionally, the agreement terminated all benefits that Plaintiff previously received from the Defendant’s agreement with Reverend Cochran. During the five-year period, Plaintiff declined a marriage proposal. Before the end of the five years, the Defendant stopped making payments to Plaintiff. Plaintiff sued the Defendant for breach of contract and declaratory relief. Plaintiff argued that her agreement with the Defendant contained sufficient consideration to be enforced and that she had fulfilled her role as first lady of the Defendant. Plaintiff later amended the complaint to include the theory of promissory estoppel as a justification for upholding the contract. The trial court granted summary judgment to the Defendant. Plaintiff appealed.
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