Tweddle v Atkinson (1861): Consideration must move from the promisee.

The case of Tweddle v Atkinson (1861) shows that a claimant cannot sue for a breach of contract if he himself has not provided any consideration for it. Even if the contract was primarily made for his benefit. In other words, a third person who himself is not a party in a contract cannot sue under the principle of privity of contract.

The claimant was going to be married and his father and the future father-in-law entered into a contract agreeing that each would give a certain amount of money to the claimant. However, when the time came the father-in-law broke his promise and the claimant sued.

The claimant’s claim failed for two reasons; the agreement was made between the claimant’s father and the future father-in-law and the claimant was, therefore, a third party to the agreement. Secondly, the claimant had not provided any consideration to the agreement. In other words, the claimant did not suffer any detriment nor he added any benefit to the agreement.

The claimant’s father could not sue for the breach as he had not personally suffered from the breach of contract either.

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