Damages: “Quantum Meruit”

From Hudson v. Leschner, COA, NPO, 4/14/2011

“Recovery under the theory of quantum meruit can be had regardless of the absence of an enforceable contract.” Quadrille Bus. Sys. v. Kentucky Cattlemen’s Ass’n, Inc., 242 S.W.3d 359, 365 (Ky. App. 2007).

A contract implied by law allows for recovery quantum meruit for another’s unjust enrichment. It is not based upon a contract but a legal fiction invented to permit recovery where the law of natural justice says there should be a recovery as if promises were made. The courts supply the fiction of the promise to permit the recovery. Furthermore recovery quantum meruit may be had irrespective of the intentions of the parties, and sometimes even in violation of them.
Perkins v. Daugherty, 722 S.W.2d 907, 909 (Ky. App. 1987) (citations omitted). “However, merely because work was performed that benefited another does not necessarily warrant recovery.” Quadrille, 242 S.W.3d at 365. Instead, a party claiming the applicability of quantum meruit must establish four elements:
1. that valuable services were rendered, or materials furnished;
2. to the person from whom recovery is sought;
3. which services were accepted by that person, or at least were received by that person, or were rendered with the knowledge and consent of that person; and
4. under such circumstances as reasonably notified the person that the plaintiff expected to be paid by that person.
Id. at 366, quoting 66 Am.Jur.2d Restitution and Implied Contracts § 38 (2001).

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