Hamer v. Sidway Case Brief

Summary of Hamer v . Sidway

Facts: One William E. Story, Sr. promised his nephew William E. Story, 2nd that he would pay him $5000 if he refrain from drinking, using tobacco, swearing, and playing cards or billiards for money until he became 21 years of age. The nephew agreed and fully performed the conditions. Hamer (P) acquired it through assignment from William E. Story, 2nd and presented a claim of $5000 to the executor (D) of William E. Story, Sr. The claim being rejected by the executor on the grounds that there was no binding contract due to the lack of consideration, this action was brought.

Issue: Is forbearance of rights a valid consideration?

Rule of Law A valuable consideration in the sense of the law may consist either in some right, interest, profit, or benefit accruing to the one party, or some forbearance, detriment, loss, or responsibility given, suffered, or undertaken by the other.

Analysis A waiver of any legal right at the request of another party is a sufficient consideration for a promise. The nephew had a legal right to use tobacco and drink alcohol. He gave up this right for a period of years to comply with the promise hence the requirement of consideration was met. Therefore the contract was enforceable.

Conclusion: Reversed.



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