Richard misses his plane from London to Paris. Ryan takes him there by car. As he gets out of the car, Richard promises to pay Ryan $1000 for his efforts Issue: Is there any consideration for the promise made by Richard? The Law: Every contract requires an offer, acceptance, and consideration. Consideration is the exchange of benefit and detriment, for example, the making of a promise in exchange for an act. If a party voluntarily acts and then the other party makes a promise, the act is said to be “past consideration.
A past consideration is some act or forbearance in time past by which a man has benefited without thereby incurring any legal liability. In other words promises made in return for actions or events that have already taken place are unenforceable. These promises lack consideration in that the element of bargained-for exchange is missing. In short, one can bargain for something to take place now or in the future but not for something that has already taken place. Therefore past consideration is no consideration. Also here is no validity in past consideration and cannot be used to sue on a contract.
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For example, if A gives Baa ride to the market and back home again. If when A delivers B to his house, B promises to give A some gas money. A cannot sue B to enforce Bi’s promise since the consideration (As act of giving B a ride) occurred before Bi’s promise. A gave B the ride without expecting anything in return. In essence A did not give Baa ride in exchange for B giving A gas money. Case Re Macerated (1951) Chi 669 : In the case, a man left a house to his children and the wife of one of them undertook mom decorating.
The other children subsequently signed a document agreeing to contribute to the costs. It was held that the agreement was not enforceable, as it was not supported by consideration. Analysis: In the case in question: (Richard misses his plane from London to Paris. Ryan takes him there by car. As he gets out of the car, Richard promises to pay Ryan $1000 for his efforts). This constitutes past consideration as it was only when Richard reached Paris that he made the promise to Ryan. From the case, it would appear that
Ryan is a friend of Richards who was doing him a favor. The law firmly states: where the act that is alleged to constitute the consideration is actually performed before the promise made by the other party and for which it was allegedly given in exchange, consequently it does not constitute proper consideration. It is where the defendant’s promise is subsequent to the plaintiffs act and independent of it. For example: where P saves D from drowning; D as an expression of gratitude, later promises to pay P a sum of money as a reward.
Here P cannot sue D on his promise since As consideration is past in time, Ad’s promise being subsequent and independent of As act. Conclusion: After careful analysis of the case, it can be concluded that there was no consideration. At the time Richard made the promise to pay $1000, Ryan has already was completed before the contract was purported to be made. So, legally, what we have here was a gratuitous act or promise to make a gift, which is not generally enforceable. According to law gratitude or moral obligations arising from past acts re not sufficient consideration to create a valid contract.