Detriments Suffered in the Past Cannot be Consideration for Present Promises

Detriments suffered in the past cannot be consideration for present promises under contract law because the detriment (consideration) suffered by a party to the bargain must be a reciprocal detriment that reciprocally induces the other party to also suffer a detriment in order to establish the bargain. [1]

Because of this, logic dictates that the basis for a detriment suffered prior to the making of a promise cannot be attributed to that same promise because the promise did not exist when the detriment was suffered. [2] It’s like saying one received a ticket for running a red light when traffic lights had not yet been invented.

[1] Brian A. Blum, Examples & Explanations: Contracts 202 (6 ed. 2013).
[2] Id. at 203


Brian Rice

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