Brief Fact Summary.
The defendants (APA) contracted plaintiffs (Sailors) to sail between San Francisco and Alaska & agreed to pay $50 and 2 cents per salmon they catch. Upon arrival, sailors demanded $100. Defendant’s representative in Alaska signed a new contract for $100 payment. However, upon returning to San Francisco, Defendant paid only $50. The sailors sued Defendant alleging they had demanded the new contract price. Judgment was entered for the Plaintiffs and Defendant appealed.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
Where parties enter a new agreement under which one party consents to do more than he was already obligated to do under an existing contract, the new contract is unenforceable for lack of consideration.
when a party merely does what he has already obligated himself to do, he cannot demand an additional compensation therefor, and although by taking advantage of the necessities of his adversary he obtains a promise for more, the law will regard it as nudum pactum, and will not lend its process to aid in the wrong.View Full Point of Law
The Frozen North Packers’ Association (APA) (defendants) contracted with a group of sailors (plaintiffs) to sail between San Francisco and Alaska, and on the way perform standard obligations and in addition, different obligations asked for by the commander or operators of APA. APA consented to pay every mariner $50 for the season and two pennies for each salmon they helped with getting. After arriving in Alaska, the Mariners stopped working and demanded $100 for the season keeping in mind the end goal to continue their work. Being not able to contract substitution Mariners, an APA delegate in Alaska marked another agreement consenting to the higher pay. However, after coming back to San Francisco, APA paid just the first contract cost of $50. The sailors sued APA in admiral’s office to recoup everything payable under the new agreement, asserting they had requested the new contract price because APA had provided them faulty fishing nets. This fact was intensely challenged and the trial court confirmed that APA had not provided faulty fishing nets to the sailors. Judgment was entered for the sailors and APA appealed.
Is an agreement made between parties who have obligations to each other under a current contract enforceable on the off chance that if one party is required to perform only what he or she was already obligated to perform under the original contract?
Yes. Where parties enter a new agreement under which one party consents to do more than he was already obligated to do under an existing contract, the new contract is unenforceable for lack of consideration.