May 17, 2014

Fienberg v. Pfeiffer - 322 S.W.2d 163 (1959) - Saint Louis Court of Appeals, Missouri

FACTS: Defendant agreed to pay plaintiff $2000/month for life upon retirement from the company she was working for.  She eventually retired and began collecting the money.  Later the president of the company died and the son-in-law took over.  He wanted to reduce the payments to $100/month.  she disagreed and filed suit.

HISTORY:  Circuit Court, City of St. Louis rendered judgement for the plaintiff.

ISSUE: Does the plaintiff have a right to recover from the defendant based upon a legally binding contractual obligation to pay her $200/month for life?

HOLDING: No

RATIONALE: There was lacking that mutuality of obligation which is essential to the validity of a contract. (66)  Past service is not a valid consideration for a promise.