Langer v. Superior Steel Corp. – Case Brief

Langer v. Superior Steel Corp., 105 Pa. Super. 579, 161 A. 571 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1932).

Facts: As Langer (P) neared retirement his employer, Superior Steel Corp. (D), informed him that they wished to give him an official letter of commendation for good and faithful service, and that he was to receive a pension of $100 per month for as long as he remained loyal to the company and refrained from employment as a competitor. After 4 years Superior Steel notified Langer that they would discontinue the payments. P sued D and the trial court entered judgment in favor of D. P appealed.

Issue: Does refraining from doing anything that one has a right to do constitute valid consideration?

Holding and Rule: Yes. Valid consideration exists if one refrains from doing anything that one has a right to do.

The court rejected D’s assertion that the non-competition clause was merely a condition of the gratuity. P had valuable information regarding D’s methods of production. The court held that consideration existed because D received a benefit from P refraining from employment for a competitor.

Disposition: Reversed and remanded.

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