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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts by Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP
Posted: December 13, 2019

Quantum Meruit Claim Barred by Contract Covering Same Subject Matter Even Though Defendant Was Not Signatory

On December 5, 2019, the First Department issued a decision in J.T. Magen & Co., Inc. v. Nissan N. Am., Inc., 2019 NY Slip Op. 08784, holding that a quantum meruit claim was barred by the existence of a contract covering the same subject matter even though the defendant did not sign the contract, explaining:

With respect to the cause of action for quantum meruit, the IAS court should have dismissed this claim. It is well-settled that the theory of unjust enrichment lies as a quasi-contract claim, and contemplates an obligation imposed by equity to prevent injustice, in the absence of an actual agreement between the parties. Thus, the presence of a written contract between plaintiff and BICOM governing all aspects of the work to be done at the property bars any quantum meruit claim by plaintiff against Nissan. There can be no quasi-contract claim against a third-party non-signatory to a contract that covers the subject matter of the claim.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted) (emphasis added).

Quantum meruit is a claim to recover for work that was not done pursuant to a contract. Contact Schlam Stone & Dolan partner John Lundin at jlundin@schlamstone.com if you or a client face a situation where there is a dispute over payment for work that was not covered by a contract.

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