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US v. Algernon Blair, Inc - suppose to lose money on the...

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United States v. Algernon Blair, Inc. 479 F.2d 638 (1973) Fact: Operative Facts: Coastal was a subcontractor to Blair. Blair had received a contract from the US government to construct a naval hospital. Blair contracted Coastal to erect and provide steel to the building. Coastal used their own cranes and charged Blair for the crane rental. Blair refused to pay for the crane rentals and so Coastal stopped working and sued for the work completed already (labor and equipment), after Blair found another company to work. In the contract, it was about $37k, and had already been paid. If Coastal had completed the contract, they would have lost over $37k. Issue: Whether Coastal can recover even though they breached the contract, and they also were
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Unformatted text preview: suppose to lose money on the contract and not gain. Rule: Restitution claim can be found when a defendant obtained a benefit at plaintiff’s expense, and the defendant’s retention of that benefit without compensating the plaintiff would be unfair. Rational: Although Coastal would not be entitled to any normal rule of contract damages, they are entitled to recover in quantum meruit (restitution). The restitution is on the reasonable value of the services provided, and is not limited on the contract. Holding: Coastal can recover the service of providing a rental of the cranes even though it was not in the contract because the contractor benefited from it, at the expense of Coastal. Synthesis: Dissent/Concurrences:...
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