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Hamer v. Sidway Case Brief

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					Hamer v. Sidway 124 N.Y. 538, 27, N.E. 256 (N.Y. 1891)
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At a large party, Uncle Story promised Nephew Story that if he didn't drink before 21, he'd pay him $5k. Nephew Story did as he was told, and when he turned 21 he wrote his uncle for the money. The Uncle wrote him a letter saying he had the money in the bank, but would hold it for him. Several years later he died without giving any money to Nephew Story. Nephew Story sold the promise of $5000 to Hamer, who then sued the executor of the estate for the money. Trial Court found that it was indeed a valid contract, and that Nephew Story had lived up to his part of the bargain. o Defendant claimed that the contract was without consideration and was therefore void. By not drinking the promisee was not harmed, but benefited! Appellate Court reversed the Trial Court's decision. New York Supreme Court, based on the definition of consideration, found that consideration had been given and reversed the decision again. o It does not matter what the consideration is, or what it is worth to whom, it just matters that one person gives something up in exchange for something else. o Btw, the nephew could not give up the right to drink until 21 under today's law because that would be illegal. A consideration could not be a promise to give up something that you can't legally do.

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