Elements of Quantum Meruit California
In Day v. Alta Bates Medical Center (2002) 98 Cal.App.4th 243 (Day), the court outlined the elements of a quantum meruit claim:
"In order to recover under a quantum meruit theory, a plaintiff must establish both that he or she was acting pursuant to either an express or implied request for such services from the defendant and that the services rendered were intended to and did benefit the defendant. One court summarized the rule as follows: 'The theory of quasi-contractual recovery is that one party has accepted and retained a benefit with full appreciation of the facts, under circumstances making it inequitable for him to retain the benefit without payment of its reasonable value.'
"The importance of the 'benefit' part of the rule was stressed in a recent decision by one of our sister courts, Maglica v. Maglica (1998) 66 Cal.App.4th 442: 'The classic formulation concerning the measure of recovery in quantum meruit is found in Palmer v. Gregg (1967) 65 Cal.2d 657 661 56 Cal.Rptr. 97, 422 P.2d 985.
Justice Mosk, writing for the court, said:
"The measure of recovery in quantum meruit is the reasonable value of the services rendered provided they were of direct benefit to the defendant." . . . the idea that one must be benefited by the goods and services bestowed is thus integral to recovery in quantum meruit; hence courts have always required that the plaintiff have bestowed some benefit on the defendant as a prerequisite to recovery.' (Maglica, supra, 66 Cal.App.4th at pp. 449-450.
"The second prong is that there must be either an explicit or implicit request for the services. As one court framed this requirement: 'A recipient of services performed either requested or acquiesced in them. . . .' Indeed, when the services are rendered by the plaintiff to a third person, the courts have required that there be a specific request therefor from the defendant: 'Compensation for a party's performance should be paid by the person whose request induced the performance.'" (Day, supra, at pp. 248-249.)