July 25, 2018

Florida Court Allows Unjust Enrichment Claim

In certain situations, the law may imply that a contract existed between parties even if no written contract existed.  In a recent lawsuit filed in Florida federal court, the plaintiff pressure washing company alleged that the defendants failed to pay for more than $800,000.00 of work.  The plaintiff brought claims against the condo associations for each of the five buildings that were pressure washed.  The plaintiff alleged that it sent an email with proposal for the work performed attached to it.  The plaintiff alleged that in response, a person, acting as agent for each of the condo associations, replied with an email stating that he approved the attached proposal.  The defendants sought to dismiss the plaintiff's claim for implied contract because of an alleged express contract.

​The Florida federal court denied the defendants' attempt to dismiss the implied contract claim.  The court stated that a claim for "implied contract" is also known as "unjust enrichment," and in "Florida, a claim for unjust enrichment is an equitable claim based on a legal fiction which implies a contract as a matter of law even though the parties to such an implied contract never indicated by deed or word that an agreement existed between them."​  The court found that, until an express contract is proven, the plaintiff "plausibly alleged the elements of an unjust enrichment claim in order to avoid dismissal" because it "alleges that it directly conferred the benefit of its pressure washing services on each of the condominiums," "it serviced each of the condominiums for multiple days at a time, while regularly communicating with the condo defendants' agent, and that the defendants' agent "had knowledge of the benefit."

For more information about the topic of this blog post, please contact Stark Weber PLLC’s Steven D. Weber at 305-377-8788 or steve@starkweber.com.