Quantum Meruit Example Cases in California

When defendant raised the issue that the victim was not entitled to restitution for his future construction jobs because he was not a licensed contractor, the court stated that he was entitled to recover under a theory of quantum meruit. However, "'quantum meruit refers to the well-established principle that "the law implies a promise to pay for services performed under circumstances disclosing that they were not gratuitously rendered." To recover in quantum meruit, a party need not prove the existence of a contract , but it must show the circumstances were such that "the services were rendered under some understanding or expectation of both parties that compensation therefor was to be made."' " (Miller v. Campbell, Warburton, Fitzsimmons, Smith, Mendel & Pastore (2008) 162 Cal.App.4th 1331, 1344.) "The underlying idea behind quantum meruit is the law's distaste for unjust enrichment. If one has received a benefit which one may not justly retain, one should 'restore the aggrieved party to his or her former position by return of the thing or its equivalent in money.' " (Maglica v. Maglica (1998) 66 Cal.App.4th 442, 449.) "'The measure of recovery in quantum meruit is the reasonable value of the services rendered provided they were of direct benefit to the defendant.' " (Ibid.) In other words, quantum meruit is equitable payment for services already rendered. Thus, the theory cannot be applied to future earnings.