Background.  Quantum  meruit is an equitable theory of recovery, founded on the theory of  unjust enrichment, and based on an implied contract to pay for benefits  received. Bashara v. Baptist Mem'l Hosp. Sys., 685 S.W.2d 307, 310 (Tex. 1985).  Quantum  meruit implies a contract in circumstances where the parties neglected  to form one, but equity nonetheless requires payment for beneficial  services rendered and knowingly accepted.  In re Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., 166 S.W.3d 732, 740 (Tex. 2005).  As a result, a party generally cannot recover under quantum meruit  where there is a valid contract covering the services or materials  furnished.  Id.; see also Truly v. Austin, 744 S.W.2d 934, 936 (Tex. 1988); Gen. Homes, Inc. v. Denison, 625 S.W.2d 794, 796 (Tex. App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 1981, no writ)(describing  the rule as "well settled law"). When the parties themselves create a  valid contract, there can be no recovery under a contract implied by  law. Union Bldg. Corp. v. J & J Bldg. & Maint. Contractors,  Inc., 578 S.W.2d 519, 520 (Tex. Civ. App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 1979,  writ ref'd n.r.e.). The jury must determine any contested fact  issues that would bear on a quantum meruit claim, but the ultimate  question of how much, if any, equitable relief should be awarded, is  something to be determined by the trial court. Hudson v. Cooper, 162 S.W.3d 685, 688 (Tex.App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2005, no pet.).   


Elements.  The  elements of a quantum meruit claim are: (1) valuable services or  materials provided by plaintiff to the defendant, (2) who accepted the  services or materials, (3) under such circumstances as would reasonably  notify defendant that the plaintiff expect to be paid. See Speck v. First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hous., 235 S.W.3d 811, 815 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 2007, no pet.).


Statutue of Limitations.  A four-year limitations period applies to a quantum meruit claim. Quigley v. Bennett, 256 S.W.3d 356, 361 (Tex. App.-- San Antonio 2008, no pet.);

Quantum Meruit

©2014 Mark Courtois

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Unless otherwise noted, attorneys in the firm are not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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