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Alaska Packers’ Ass’n v. Domenico

Melissa A. Hale

ProfessorMelissa A. Hale

CaseCast "What you need to know"

CaseCast –  "What you need to know"

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Alaska Packers' Ass'n v. Domenico
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    Brief Fact Summary. Appellant Alaska Packers’ Association, contracted with a group of workmen individually to sail from San Francisco to Alaska “as sailors and fisherman” for $50 for the season and two cents for each red salmon caught. After arrival in Alaska, the workmen stopped working and demanded $100 instead of $50. Realizing that he could find no one else at that time, Appellant signed an agreement to pay them $100, but when the men returned to San Francisco, Appellant paid them only $50.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. A party cannot obtain additional compensation for the duties he has already agreed to perform.

    Facts. A group of workmen individually signed contracts with Appellant to travel from San Francisco to Alaska as sailors and fishermen. They were each to be paid $50 for the season plus two cents for each red salmon which they participated in catching. Upon arrival in Alaska, the workmen stopped working and demanded $100 for the season instead of $50. Since Appellant could not obtain any other workers, Appellant agreed to pay the price demanded. At the end of the season, Appellant paid each man $50 in accordance with the first agreement, and the workmen initiated this suit.

    Issue. Was the second contract, which bound the appellant to pay twice as much money as under the first contract, supported by sufficient consideration?

    Held. No. Appellant agreed to the demands of the workmen out of necessity. The new agreement was based solely upon the workmen’s assent to render the exact services that they were already under contract to render. Hence, the new agreement was not supported by new consideration and therefore unenforceable.

    Discussion. A contract lacks consideration where one or more of the parties incur no new responsibilities under the new agreement.


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