Cases On Consideration

A couple of cases relating to consideration within contarct law

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Balfour v Balfour 1919

The husband had to return to his job in Sri Lanka. His wife was ill and could not travel. He promised to send her £30 a month. When he didn't she sued.

Held - She was providing no consideration for the £30, it was similar to a gift so there was no contract.

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White v Bluett 1853

A young man was always complaining to his father that his brother was favoured over him. He also had numerous debts so attempted to enter an agreement that he would stop all his nagging if his father paid his debts. He stopped nagging but his father didn't pay the debts so he sued.

Held - This could not amount to consideration as it was based on an emotion (no economic value)

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Chappell & Co Ltd v Nestle Co Ltd 1960

This involved a dispute over the economic value of some chocolate bar wrappers submitted as part payment for a record. The dispute actually concerned the royalty fees for the record and whether the wrappers were included within the cost. The defendants stated that the wrappers were just part of a promotion campaign.

Held - The wrappers were consideration within the contract as they had economic value (all be it very small)

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Midland Bank Trust Co Ltd v Green 1981

In order to prevent the bank seizing his property to pay off his debts the defendant sold his farm to his wife for £500 instead of the value price of £40,000. The bank claimed there was no contract between the man and his wife based on the small amount she paid (i.e. a sale in name only)

Held - The contract for the sale of the farm was valid. Considersation must be sufficient (economic value) but it need not be adequate (of equal value)

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Collins v Godefroy 1813

The defendant made a promise to pay the defendant a sum of money if he gave evidence for him in court. However the claimant was already legally obliged to attend as a subpoena had been issued.

Held - He had no right to the money as he was already under a legal duty to give evidence in court.

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Stilk v Myrick 1809

The claimant was contracted to work through a sea voyage. During the voyage, 2 out of 11 crewmembers deserted ship. The captain promised to split the wages of the 2 deserters between the remaining 9. He then failed to do so.

Held - There was no entitlement to the money as the duties they were doing were nothing more than they were already contracted to do.

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Hartley v Ponsonby 1857

This was similar to the cae of (Stilk v Myrick See previous case) except this time 17 out of a crew of 36 deserted. This time when the captain refused to pay the extra money he was forced to do so.

Held - Each crewman was now doing the work of 2 men. This was far above the normal contractual duties so they were entitled to the money (it was a new contact in essence)

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Pearce v Brooks 1866

The owner of a carriage leased it to a well know prostitute for 'business purposes'. When she failed to pay he tried to enforce the contarct

Held - The whole purpose of this agreement was illegal so it could not be enforced.

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Everet v Williams 1725

2 Highwaymen agreed to share the haul from their robberies. When one decided to share the other sued.

Held - Consideration under the agreement was based on an illegal act so the agreement was not enfoceable. (and they handed themselves in just to help the authorities out !)

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Foster v Driscoll 1929

A contract was entered to sned whiskey to the USA during the prohibition years.

Held - This contract could not be enforced, as the consideration (importing the whiskey) was illegal

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Comments

Smith E

The key cases are addressed here, and the student has been careful to not overload the reader with facts. It is a helpful resource to any student under any examination board. 

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