Price v Easton (1833) 4 B&Ad 433

Contract law – Consideration – Privity of contract


A declaration between the parties stated that X owed the plaintiff £3. As such, X agreed to complete work for the defendant in exchange for payment, which would clear the debt that he owed to the plaintiff. The defendant agreed he would pay the plaintiff on X’s behalf once the work was finished. X completed the work for the defendant but the defendant did not pay the plaintiff, or X, as had been promised. The plaintiff sued the defendant for the money that X owed him, which would have been paid by way of the defendant’s payment. 


The court was required to establish whether the plaintiff had provided any consideration for the agreement between the defendant and X for the work that was carried out. If this could be established, the plaintiff would be able to sue the defendant for the money that would have been paid to the plaintiff as a result of X’s work to clear the debt that was owed from their separate agreement.


It was found that X performed his part of the agreement with the defendant but the plaintiff was a stranger to the contract between the parties and therefore could not sue for the sum owed by the defendant. This was despite the fact that the money owed would have been paid to the plaintiff to clear the previous debt. The court found this on the basis that the plaintiff had not provided any consideration for the promise between the parties. The plaintiff’s claim was dismissed by the court.