Langer v. Superior Steel
- P retired from working for D.
- D told P that he would receive $100/mo. As long as P preserved attitude of loyalty to D and was not employed in any competitive occupation.
- D paid for four years until P was notified that D did not intend to pay any longer.
- Lower court found for D.
- Reversed on appeal and remanded to lower court.
- Lower court found for P.
- Highest court in state found for D since person who made promise did not have the legal right to bind the company.
- Is consideration valid even if the promisee is not bound to the constraints of the agreement?
- Is consideration given if the promisee was only restrained from doing that which he had a right to do?
- Being constrained from doing something one has a right to do, suffering any detriment, or doing something a one isn't required to do is sufficient consideration, whether there is any actual benefit to the promisor or not.
- Just because one party has an option to act inside or outside of the agreement and one side does not, does not preclude consideration.
- It was to the advantage of the D if the P did not work for any other company. P did not work for any other company because of the agreement with D.
- By receiving monthly payments, the P accepted the conditions and was constrained from doing what he had a right to do. This was sufficient consideration.
- Contract is also enforceable through the theory of promissory estoppel.
- P was induced by the promises by D to refrain from seeking other employment. (reliance)
- "We do not mean to state that in all cases where a gratuitous promise is made, and one relies upon it, the promisee can recover, but, if a detriment of a definite and substantial character has been incurred by the promisee, then the court may enforce the promise."