Callano v. Oakwood Park Homes Corp. Case Brief

Summary of Callano v. Oakwood Park Homes Corp.
Supreme Court of Arkansas, 1907
83 Ark. 601, 104 S.W. 164

Relevant Facts: Bruce Pendergast bought a home from Oakwood Park Holmes Inc. The house was erected. Soon after Pendergast contracted with a nursery (Callano) to put shrubs in he is front yard for a price of 497.95. Before Pendergast signed the contract for his home, he passed away and the flowers were already planted. A representative of Oakwood was aware of the planting. Soon after the contract was voided and the home was later sold to someone else, price was undisclosed.

Legal Issue(s): Is Oakwood obligated to pay the Plaintiff’s for the reasonable value of the shrubbery on the theory ofQuasi-contractual liability?

Holding: NO, a plaintiff’s remedy is against Pendegrast’s estate since they contracted with him and he was the one receiving the benefits. A Plaintiff is not entitled to employ the legal fiction of Quasi contract to substitute one Promisor or debtor for another. NOW, if there is a fraud, you may be able to recover in another case.

Law or Rule(s): Contracts implied by law, more properly described, as Quasi or constructive contracts, are a class of obligations, which are imposed or created by law without regard to the assent of the party bound, on the ground that they are dictated by reason and justice. They rest solely on a legal fiction and are not contract obligations at all in the true sense , for there is no agreement; but they are clothed with the semblance of contract for the purpose of the remedy, and the obligation arises not from consent, as in the case of true contract, but from law or natural equity. Courts employ the fiction of Quasi or constructive contract with caution.

Court Rationale:

Defendants Argument: they argue that the facts of the case do not support a recovery by plaintiffs on the theory onQuasi-contract.

Plaintiff’s Argument: they contend that the defendant was unjustly enriched when the Pedegrast contract to purchase the property was cancelled and that an agreement to pay for the shrubbery is implied in law.

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