« on: November 28, 2005, 05:14:04 PM »
If anyone wants to humor me with some very unintimidating contracts questions, or just feels like showing off please feel free. My pride was left at the doorstep when I realized that I will be studying nonstop from now until they hand me the exam.
What are the limits of reliance interest? If A promises to sell me his car and I build a garage, buy fuzzy dice, and a car stereo system, are these expenses reasonably foreseeable? Would it matter if I had another car that I could park in the garage, hang the dice and install the stereo in? Would I have a duty to apply these expenses to my other car to mitigate the damages?
What is privishing? I have seen it on an old exam and it is not in my book at all except for one brief mention in a case (I think Zilg v. Prentice-Hall) where the footnote just says that the editors think this was the first time the term was used.
Callano v. Oakwood Park Homes
In this case, developer Oakwood is in the process of constructing a house and contracts to sell the lot and completed house to Pendergast. Pendergast hired a landscaper to plant shrubs on the property but dies before paying for the completed work. Oakwood and Pendergast's estate agreed to void the sale contract. THEN...with knowledge of the planted shrubs, Oakwood sells the property, shrubs and all, to someone else. The landscaper sued Oakwood under quasi-contract for the value of the shrubs. The court denied their claim, and pointed out that the proper remedy available was against Pendergast's estate, and cited authority that says under quasi-contract you cannot "substitute one promisor or debtor for another."
My question is: Assuming the landscaper didn't have access to Pendergast's estate why wouldn't he be able to claim unjust enrichment when Oakwood had been paid by the new buyer for the house that included shrubs?
***Okay***...Just while typing that I think I figured it out. Geez. I'll go ahead with it anyway. It seems it is because as long as he does have access to Pendergast's estate he cannot substitute another debtor. If he didn't have access to Pendergast, I assume he could then bring the claim against Oakwood. (?)
Okay, one more angle just in case anyone is actually enjoying this. For some reason my professor never covered 3rd party beneficiaries at all so bear with me... But couldn't the landscaper have brought action as a 3rd party beneficiary? If so, is such an action allowable under quantum meruit or only contract price?