Legal Principles and Key Points
- In the case of Hamer v Sidway 124 N.Y. 538 (1891), it was found that valuable consideration consists of some right, intertest, profit or benefit accruing to the one party or some forbearance, detriment, loss or responsibility given, suffered or undertaken by the others.
Facts of the Case
- The testator made and agreement with his nephew that of he stopped drinking liquor, using tabaco, swearing and playing cards or billiards for money until he reached 21, he would pay him $5,000.
- The nephew fulfilled his obligation and notified the testator of this.
- The two, having agreed on the promise and performance, agreed that the money including interest, would eb held by the testator until the nephew could take care of it.
- The testator subsequently died before payment.
- The nephew’s assignor (claimant) filed an action against the defendant, who was the executor of the estate, seeking to enforce the promise made to him.
- The special trail court rule din favour of the claimant.
- The general term of the Supreme Court reversed on appeal, ruling in favour of the defendant.
- The appellant-estate sought review contending that the contract was without consideration and therefore not valid.
Issues in Hamer v Sidway 124 N.Y. 538 (1891)
- Was the promise to stop undertaking a legal right to use tabaco and alcohol sufficient consideration?
Held by Court of Appeal of New York
- The court reversed the appellate court’s order and affirmed the trial court’s judgment.
- The court ruled in favour of the claimant and held that the right to use and enjoy tabaco was a right that belonged to the nephew and was not forbidden by law. The abandonment of its use was sufficient consideration to uphold the promise as such abandonment was the incentive for the promise.