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Hamer v. Sidway

Hamer v. Sidway - executor of Story Sr.’s estate Sidway...

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Andrew Heacock 4/25/06 BLAW 3201 Sec. 8 Hamer v. Sidway Court of Appeals of New York, Second Division 1981. 124 N.Y. 538, 27 N.E. 256. Facts: In 1869, at the 50 th Anniversary of Samuel Story, William E. Story Sr. offered his nephew $5,000 if he would refrain from drinking or using tobacco until his twenty-first birthday. Story’s nephew accepted in the presence of several family members, and agreed to refrain from drinking or using tobacco; both acts were legal for persons younger than twenty-one at the time. On his twenty-first birthday, William E. Story II wrote his uncle, informing him that he had fulfilled his part of the agreement and asked for the $5,000. Story Sr. and his nephew agreed that he would hold the money and that his nephew could consider the money at interest. Story died twelve years later and had not paid his nephew any of the $5,000 or interest. Since the agreement that Story Sr. would hold the money, Story II transferred his rights to Hamer, the Plaintiff. Sidway, the defendant, was the
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Unformatted text preview: executor of Story Sr.’s estate. Sidway refused to pay the money to Hamer, claiming that there was no “valid” consideration of the agreement, and therefore the agreement was not legitimate. Hamer filed suit. Issue: Did the nephew give valid and legitimate consideration under the law? Decision: Yes. The nephew gave up legal rights in order to fulfill the agreement, and therefore provided consideration. Reasoning: The court addresses the defendant’s contention that Story’s actions could not be consideration because they were beneficial to him, and that he would have done them despite the agreement with his uncle. The court says that forbearance, surrendering of legal rights and privileges, is consideration regardless of whether it benefits the forbearer. Because the nephew willingly surrendered his legal rights to drink, gamble, and use tobacco, he adequately fulfilled his duty of consideration, and was entitled to the agreed payment....
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