Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Lingenfelder v. Wainwright Brewery Co. case brief

Lingenfelder v. Wainwright Brewery Co. case brief summary
103 Mo. 578 (1891)

Appellant company sought review of an order from the St. Louis City Circuit Court (Missouri), which reversed the referee's finding and found that the company had breached its contract with the architect, in an action by appellee executors of architect's estate against the company.

The company entered into a contract with the architect to draw up plans for and to supervise the erection of a brewery. The architect also owned a refrigeration company. When the company awarded the contract for the refrigerating plant portion of the brewery to his competitor, the architect gathered his plans and informed the company he would have nothing more to do with the building. The company, desperate to get the building completed, promised the architect five percent on the cost of his competitor's ice machine if he would resume work. The referee found that this promise was not supported by consideration. The lower court reversed the referee's decision.


  • Upon review, the court found that the architect was obligated to finish the brewery under the original contract, and the company's promise paid him for what he was already obligated to do. 
  • The court concluded that the promise lacked consideration, reversed the lower court's order, and reinstated the judgment of the referee.
The court reversed the order that found that the company breached its contract with the architect in the action by the executors of the architect's estate against the company. The court reinstated the referee's finding that the company's promise to the architect lacked consideration.

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