Savings Bank v. Ward - 100 U.S. 195 (1879)


U.S. Supreme Court

Savings Bank v. Ward, 100 U.S. 195 (1879)

Savings Bank v. Ward

100 U.S. 195

Syllabus

A., an attorney at law, employed and paid solely by B. to examine and report on the title of the latter to a certain lot of ground, gave over his signature this certificate, "B.'s title to the lot" (describing it) "is good, and the property is unencumbered." C., with whom A. had no contract or communication, relied upon this certificate as true, and loaned money to B., upon the latter executing by way of security therefor a deed of trust for the lot. B., before employing A., had transferred the lot in fee by a duly recorded conveyance, a fact which A., on examining the records, could have ascertained, had he exercised a reasonable degree of care. The money loaned was not paid, and B. is insolvent.

Held:

1. That, there being neither fraud, collusion, or falsehood by A., nor privity of contract between him and C., he is not liable to the latter for any loss sustained by reason of the certificate.

2. That usage cannot make a contract where none was made by the parties.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.



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