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WPI 301.04 Consideration

6A WAPRAC WPI 301.04Washington Practice Series TMWashington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil

6A Wash. Prac., Wash. Pattern Jury Instr. Civ. WPI 301.04 (7th ed.)
Washington Practice Series TM
Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil
April 2022 Update
Washington State Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions
Part XIII. Contracts
Chapter 301. Contracts—Formation, Interpretation, and Enforceability
WPI 301.04 Consideration
If you find(set forth the facts the court has determined would be sufficient to establish consideration), then there was consideration.
This instruction is to be used in combination with WPI 301.01 (Contract Defined) when the issue of consideration presents a question of fact for jury determination.
The legal sufficiency of consideration will ordinarily be a question for the court. If the adequacy of consideration becomes an issue (see the Comment below), it will be a question for the trier of fact, and the instruction should be modified accordingly.
When it is asserted that promissory estoppel is an alternative to consideration, use WPI 301A.01 (Promissory Estoppel). See the Comment to WPI 301A.01 (Promissory Estoppel).
According to Washington courts, “[c]onsideration is any act, forbearance, creation, modification or destruction of a legal relationship, or return promise given in exchange.” Labriola v. Pollard Grp., Inc., 152 Wn.2d 828, 833, 100 P.3d 791 (2004) (quoting King v. Riveland, 125 Wn.2d 500, 505, 886 P.2d 160 (1994)); Citizens for Des Moines, Inc. v. Petersen, 125 Wn.App. 760, 106 P.3d 290 (2005) (trial court erroneously found contract where no consideration was exchanged).
“[B]efore any act or promise or forbearance can constitute a consideration [for a promise], it must be bargained for and given in exchange for the promise.” Williams Fruit Co. v. Hanover Ins. Co., 3 Wn.App. 276, 281, 474 P.2d 577 (1970). See Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 71(1) (1981). According to the Restatement, “[a] performance or return promise is bargained for if it is sought by the promisor in exchange for his promise and is given by the promisee in exchange for that promise.” Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 71(2) (1981).
“[W]hether a contract is supported by consideration is a question of law and may be properly determined by a court on summary judgment.” Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. Watson, 120 Wn.2d 178, 195, 840 P.2d 851 (1992); Lokan & Assocs., Inc. v. Am. Beef Processing, LLC., 177 Wn.App 490, 311 P.3d 1285 (2013).
Courts generally “do not inquire into the adequacy of consideration, but employ a legal sufficiency test.” King Cnty. v. Taxpayers of King Cnty., 133 Wn.2d 584, 597, 949 P.2d 1260 (1997). “Legal sufficiency is concerned not with comparative value but with that which will support a promise.” Taxpayers of King Cnty., 133 Wn.2d at 597 (quoting Browning v. Johnson, 70 Wn. 2d 145, 147, 422 P.2d 314, amended, 70 Wn. 2d 145, 430 P.2d 591 (1967)). “[A]nything which fulfills the requirements of consideration will support a promise whatever may be the comparative value of the consideration, and of the thing promised.” Browning, 70 Wn.2d. at 147 (quoting 1 Williston on Contracts § 115).
For an extended discussion of Washington's case law on consideration, see DeWolf, Allen, & Caruso, 25 Washington Practice, Contract Law and Practice §§ 2:23–:26 (3d ed.).
[Current as of June 2021.]
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