All you must know about Quasi Contract

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Introduction

There is no contract where there is no agreement. However, some duties are not derived from a contract. Torts are the legal obligations not to damage another person or his property, such as court decisions or orders, quasi-contractual obligations, and so on. These duties are not, by definition, contracts, but they are enforceable in a court of law. Quasi contract are founded on the concept of “Nemo debet locupletari ex aliena jactura,”. It translates as “No man should grow rich off the loss of another.”

As a result, responsibility for quasi-contractual duties is founded on the notion of ‘unjust enrichment.’ It simply means that no one should be unfairly benefited at the expense of another’s loss. That is, no one should gain something unfairly if doing so will result in a loss for another person.

Quasi-Contract

A quasi-contract is a retroactive agreement between two parties who have no prior commitments to each other. A court creates it to remedy a situation in which one party gains something at the expense of the other. The contract’s purpose is to prevent one party from unfairly benefitting from the circumstance at the expense of the other. When a party accepts goods or services but does not seek them, these agreements may be forced. The acceptance establishes a payment expectation.

Quasi-contracts define one party’s responsibility to another while the latter is in possession of the original party’s property. These parties may or may not have previously agreed upon something. When Person A owes anything to Person B because they come into possession of Person A’s property indirectly or by accident, the agreement is imposed by law through a court as a remedy. If Person B decides to keep the property in question without paying for it, the contract becomes enforceable. Because the agreement was drafted in a court of law, it is legally binding, and neither side is required to agree to it.

The quasi-contract’s goal is to provide a fair conclusion in a scenario when one party has an advantage over another. The defendant—the person who obtained the property—must pay restitution to the plaintiff, the injured party, in an amount equal to the item’s worth. An inferred contract is another name for a quasi-contract. It would be handed down, and the defendant would be ordered to make compensation to the plaintiff.

Quantum Meruit

The amount of restitution, known in Latin as quantum meruit, or the amount earned, is determined by the amount or extent to which the defendant was unfairly benefited. Because there is no previous contract between the two persons involved, these arrangements are also known as constructive contracts. However, if there is already an agreement in existence, a quasi-contract cannot be enforced.

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Requirements for Quasi Contract

  1. One party, the plaintiff, must have provided a tangible item or service to another party, the defendant, with the expectation or implication of payment.
  2. The defendant must have accepted—or acknowledged receipt of—the valuable object but made no attempt or promise to pay for it.
  3. The plaintiff must next explain why the defendant is wrong to obtain the item or service without paying for it. In other words, the plaintiff must show that the defendant was enriched unjustly.

Elements of Quasi contract

  1. Typically, quasi-contracts give someone the right to money.
  2. Because there is no contract or mutual consent among the parties, it is imposed by law and is not the result of any agreement.
  3. They are founded on the concepts of equity, good conscience, justice, and natural justice principles.

Difference between Quasi-Contract and Contract

Contracts are those that are expressly accepted by the parties under consideration as a matter of law, in which they share interests and consequences through expressly stated conditions. In contrast, the law enforces duties under quasi-contracts based on the actions of the parties under scrutiny to prevent one party from unfairly benefitting at the expense of another.

Examples of contract and quasi-contract

A person orders certain perishable products online and pays for them after entering his address. When the items are delivered, the delivery man delivers them to the incorrect address. Instead of rejecting the delivery, the receiving person accepts it and consumes it.

The matter was heard in court, and the judge ordered the issuance of a quasi-contract requiring the receiver to repay the cost of the item to the party who paid for it initially. So, in this situation, the receiving party has reaped the advantages of the commodities, and such a receiving party is obligated to compensate the former party.

Conclusion

Several social interactions establish particular responsibilities that some parties are obligated to fulfil by court order. These responsibilities are known as quasi-contracts because they generate the same duties that a normal contract would have produced. These Quasi-contracts are founded on concepts of fairness, equity, and morality.

Edited by Megha Jain

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