November 10, 2013

Callano v. Oakwood Park Homes Corp. | Case Brief - 91 N.J.Super. 105, 219 A.2d 33 - Superior Court of New Jersey

FACTS: Oakwood was building a house.  Bruce Pendergast was planning to buy the house and had the Callanos plant and deliver shrubs at the house.  Pendergast died before buying the house and Oakwood ended up selling the house to another family.

HISTORY:
Judgment of $475 in favor of the Callanos in Monmouth County District Court.

ISSUE: Is Oakwood obligated to pay plaintiffs for the reasonable value of the shrubbery on the theory of quasi-contractual liability?

HOLDING:
No

RATIONALE:


The intention of the parties is totally disregarded in quasi-contract cases.

To recover on the theory of quasi-contracts the plaintiffs must prove that defendant was enriched (received a benefit and the retention of that benefit would be unjust).

The shrubs enhanced the value but it is not unjust that they were sold.

The plaintiffs entered into an agreement with Pendergast and had no dealings with the defendants which would make it inequitable to hold them liable.

DISPOSITION:
Reversed.