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Key information

New York Court of Appeals

Consideration (giving up freedom)

Full case

AustraliaHamer v Sidway

(1881) 124 NY 538


Uncle promised nephew that, if he would refrain from drinking, using tobacco, swearing and playing cards or billiards for money until he was 21, he would pay him $5000. Nephew did this and claimed the $5000.

Defendant argued

(1) There was no consideration given by the plaintiff and

(2) refraining from drinking etc were not a harm suffered but a benefit.

Parker J

The Plaintiff had surrendered a legal right he had to drink etc and this was good consideration – even though it was beneficial to the Plaintiff.