An unjust enrichment claim is an equitable claim when there is no direct contract between the parties governing the merits of the claim. It is not uncommon for these claims to be asserted in a construction dispute. A plaintiff suing a defendant for unjust enrichment must prove that they conferred a benefit on the defendant. This is the first element of an unjust enrichment claim that a plaintiff must prove. Without such proof, the unjust enrichment claim fails.
A recent case, discussed here, explains that the benefit conferred must be a DIRECT BENEFIT and not an indirect benefit. This means that the plaintiff must prove that the benefit conferred on the defendant was not some indirect or peripheral benefit, but a direct benefit. In certain contexts, this makes sense. In others, not so much. Nevertheless, when asserting an unjust enrichment claim, make sure you can prove that you conferred a direct benefit on the defendant to support this claim.
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