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Kessler v. National Presto Industries, Inc.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Kessler sued National Presto Industries, Inc. for injuries sustained using their products despite signing a release that relieved the company from all claims.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    Consideration for a contract is adequate if it does not shock the conscience of the court.

    Facts.

    While at her friend’s house, Kessler was injured by a pressure cooker manufactured by National Presto Industries, Inc. (Presto). Kessler met with her friend’s homeowner’s insurance company and released her friend and subsequent companies from responsibility in exchange for $750. Kessler sued Presto for products liability and Presto moved for summary judgment because of the release Kessler signed.

    Issue.

    Whether consideration for a contract is adequate if it does not shock the conscience of the court?

    Held.

    Yes. The motion for summary judgment is granted because the release was meant to be extended to all persons and corporations, and Presto was a third party beneficiary of the release. Similarly, the $750 was not so minute as to shock the conscience of the court.

    Discussion.

    If consideration is so grossly inadequate as to shock the conscience of the court then consideration for the contract does not exist.


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