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Beginners guide to quasi-contracts in New York

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2023 | Contract Disputes

Contracts are legal documents that contain commitments and obligations that two or more parties agree to. Quasi-contracts, also known as implied contracts, are a special type of contract recognized by the New York legal system when no actual agreement exists between the parties involved. They operate in almost the same way as ordinary contracts and can be appealed to in case of a dispute between the parties involved.

How they work

A quasi-contract is not formed through an explicit agreement between two parties. Instead, the law implies it based on the circumstances surrounding the parties. They are normally enforced if they appear to be reasonable, equitable, and beneficial for all involved.

The purpose of quasi-contracts

Judges often develop the concept of quasi-contracts to prevent one party from taking unfair advantage of another when there is no actual agreement between them. For example, if a person orders goods or services but fails to pay for them, they could be liable under quasi-contract law because they have received something they haven’t paid for.

Elements of a quasi-contract

According to business & commercial law, there are four elements that must be present for a quasi-contract to exist. These include:

  • • A reasonable expectation of the parties involved in the matter
  • • An unjust enrichment or benefit received by one party
  • • Damage or detriment suffered by another person due to the enrichment or benefit of the first party
  • • No alternative remedy available for either party

Enforcing quasi-contracts

Quasi-contracts are not as binding as ordinary contracts, but they remain legally enforceable. A court can order a party to pay damages if it finds that one has unjustly received some benefit at the expense of another. The affected party may also sue for restitution or other remedies provided by law in the event of a violation of quasi-contractual obligations.

Quasi-contracts provide a way for courts to enforce agreements where none exist and prevent people from taking advantage of each other in situations where there was no intention of creating a binding agreement. They are an essential part of the legal system and serve to protect both parties in a dispute.