terminally ill member of a synagogue made several oral promises (in front
of witnesses) that he wanted the congregation to have $25k of his
estate. The synagogue
prepared to use the money to build a library in the guy's name. Upon death, the executor of the
will did not give the $25k to the synagogue, so they sued for breach of contract.
guy died intestate, which means
he did not have a will. So
an executor (DeLeo) was appointed to divvy up his stuff.
argued that naming the building after the guy was a consideration, and also that they had put into the budget
which was a reliance.
the Trial Court and the Appellate Court determined that there was no legal
benefit to the promisornor
detriment to the promisee, and therefore there was no consideration.Without written instructions, there was no contract or reliance.
was no evidence that they had agreed to name the library after the guy in
return for the money.If
there were, then maybe there would have been a consideration.
synagogue was hoping to get the money, but had not spent any money on
construction or anything.If
they had, maybe there would have been a reliance.
the guy really wanted to avoid all this, he could have simply given the money to the synagogue by writing a check