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Unjust Enrichment

Unjust Enrichment

Posted by on Apr 30, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Improper appropriation of money, labour or material coupled with an absence of a juristic reason for the exchange echo through the ages of legal conflict. The legal conundrum of unjust enrichment can be better understood in situations where benefit exchanges in the absence of reciprocation.  For example;’ Auto insurance pays out the claim after a vehicle is written off following a traffic accident. Auto insurance company sends a cheque for the value of the vehicle to the policy holder, thus completing contractual obligations as per insurance contract. The policy holder had an outstanding car loan with a bank. The policy holder, instead of paying the outstanding loan, cashed the cheque and purchased a new car for cash, leaving the balance of the loan unpaid. Insurance company wishes to exercise its rights to salvage and attempts to secure the title, but finds out that the policy holder has not cleared the title of the car by paying out the loan. The insurance company issues another cheque to secure the title of the car. The insurer now has the right to recover the additional cost from the insured. Unjust enrichment often occurs in home renovations and construction projects. For example; A home owner and a general contractor made an agreement to construct a patio, with base terms being material cost covered by home owner and $50 per hour for building work. The home owner is impressed by the work of the contractor and asks him to build a gazebo as well. Unfortunately, the home owner does not discuss the details of the new contract with the contractor, and when the work is finished, the costs are substantially higher due to increased cost of specialized labour. The homeowner refuses to pay the increased cost, believing that he should only pay as per terms of the previous agreement. The amount that is worth (quantum meirut) When there is no established contract on the value of the work, this becomes necessary to establish at law. In general, the courts avoid creating a contract where there isn’t one but at the same time, the courts will establish the fair price for something. For example, if...

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Sub-par work by contractors, a glance at law

Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

A general contractor was hired to perform renovations. During the work, a defect in the work is discovered, a door that was designed as left opening was improperly installed as right opening. The contractor and homeowner agree that the issue is cosmetic and minor the homeowner approves continuation of the work without correction of the defect. Later, it is realized that the defect is more than cosmetic and is causing functional problems. The homeowner calls the contractor and requests correction of the defect. The contractor argues that the homeowner previously accepted the defect and thus the flaw is no longer the responsibility of the contractor. The homeowner hires another contractor to fix the defect. The homeowner sues the original contractor for the cost of hiring the subsequent contractor to correct the defect. General contractors and tradespersons are paid to build, assemble, install, fix or repair things and from time to time mistakes are made that are costly to correct if correctable at all, resulting in the need to recover loses, often through litigation. These types of cases are known as defective workmanship, subpar workmanship, below standard workmanships and are classified under contract and tort law. Issues in contract law allege a breach of an expressed or an implied term within the workmanship agreement, regardless of whether the agreement is verbal or in writing. When the agreement is in writing, it will typically set out that the work will be performed to a standard specific in the industry, however, if the contract is silent on the standards, there are standards within every industry that are practiced  by every person thoroughly familiar with the industry. When the industry standard is breached and results in losses, grounds for a negligence lawsuit under tort law are created. Breach of contract and negligence claims require a specialized legal approach as correctly framing the details of the breach and negligence scenario often results in the matter being settled out of court or pre-trial. Breach of industry standard versus defects Industry standard speaks for itself as no bonafide  tradesperson or contractor can argue against it, defects are different, they are highly subjective. What constitutes a defect varies...

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