Login
Copyright

Quasi-Contract: Definition & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Executed vs. Executory Contracts: Definitions & Differences

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:06 Unjust Enrichment and…
  • 1:31 Nursing Care Services,…
  • 2:54 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kat Kadian-Baumeyer

Kat has a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management and teaches Business courses.

A quasi-contract exists in the absence of a written contract and may be court ordered to avoid one party gaining at the expense of another party's actions.

Unjust Enrichment and Quasi-Contracts

Have you ever wished a pizza would just show up at your door? How about if that pizza has mushrooms and pepperoni on it? Better yet, how about if that pizza is free?

By accepting a free pizza that is not intended for you, you have been what the court calls unjustly enriched, meaning you profited at the expense of another without making an effort to make restitution.

There are some elements that must exist. The plaintiff must have provided the defendant with something of value with the expectation of being paid. The defendant accepted or acknowledged receipt of the thing of value. And the plaintiff must demonstrate that it would be unjust or unfair for the defendant to receive the item without paying for it - mostly financial fairness.

In this case, the pizza shop owner has every right to sue, and if this case were to make it to a courtroom, the judge would require a quasi-contract. This is also known as an implied contract and forces the unjustly enriched party to make restitution for the products or services received, even in the absence of a written contract. The restitution is called quantum meruit and is determined by the degree to which the defendant was unjustly enriched.

Paying for a pizza is minimal when compared to mounting medical bills. Let's analyze a case where medical treatment was provided without an expressed, written contract.

Nursing Care Services, Inc. v. Dobos (1980)

Sometime in 1980, Mary Dobos was rushed to Boca Raton Community Hospital. During her time in the intensive care unit, Dr. Rosen ordered nursing care around the clock while in the hospital, along with 48 hours of nursing care once at home, and two-weeks of care thereafter.

Dobos accepted care from Nursing Care Services, Inc., and the bill exceeded $3,800. Dobos refused to pay. Dobos claimed that she never contracted these services and did not understand that she would be responsible to pay. It seemed that Dobos believed her insurance company would compensate the nursing agency. Unfortunately, this belief does not pardon her. She is still responsible for paying.

Nursing Care Associates could have, during the course of treatment without compensation, pulled their services. However, they did not. They continued to provide Dobos with the level of care prescribed by Rosen.

In the eyes of the court, Nursing Care Associates did, in fact, provide the services requested and must be compensated. The appeal was remanded in lower court with instructions to enter a final judgment for the amount of $3,723.90 plus fees and court costs.

This case demonstrates that a quasi-contract or a contract implied by law is just as enforceable as an expressed and written contract.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher
What is your educational goal?
 Back

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support