Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Causes of action for quantum meruit and unjust enrichment.

Practice point:  Under the doctrine of quantum meruit, the performance and acceptance of services gives rise to the inference of an implied contract to pay for the reasonable value of such services.

 A person may be unjustly enriched not only where he or she receives money or property, but also where he or she otherwise receives a benefit. Such a benefit may be conferred where the person's debt is satisfied or where she is otherwise saved expense or loss.

Student note: To state a cause of action for quantum meruit, plaintiff must allege (l) the performance of the services in good faith, (2) the acceptance of the services by the person to whom they are rendered, (3) an expectation of compensation therefor, and (4) the reasonable value of the services. 

To state a cause of action for unjust enrichment, a plaintiff must demonstrate that (1) defendant was enriched, (2) at plaintiff's expense, and (3) that it is against equity and good conscience to permit defendant to retain that which is sought to be recovered.

Case:  Farina v. Bastianich, NY Slip Op02661 (1st Dept. 2014).

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue: An owner's duty and slippery floors.