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Quantum Meruit

. The Catalyst Capital Group Inc. v. Dundee Kilmer Developments Limited Partnership

In The Catalyst Capital Group Inc. v. Dundee Kilmer Developments Limited Partnership (Ont CA, 2020) the Court of Appeal stated on quantum meruit and unjust enrichment as follows:
[79] Similarly, in its Original Claim against DKD and IO, Catalyst pleaded the material facts needed to support the two elements of a quantum meruit claim: (i) that the services were furnished at the request, or with the encouragement or acquiescence of, the opposing party; and (ii) that in the circumstances it would be unjust for the opposing party to retain the benefit conferred by the provision of the services: Consulate Ventures Inc. v. Amico Contracting & Engineering (1992) Inc., 2011 ONCA 418, 278 O.A.C. 216, at para. 8.

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[86] As well, I agree with the motion judge that Catalyst’s claims for unjust enrichment and quantum meruit against IO and the Crown should be struck on the ground that it is plain and obvious they cannot succeed. In Peel (Regional Municipality) v. Canada, 1992 CanLII 21 (SCC), [1992] 3 S.C.R. 762, 98 D.L.R. (4th) 140, the Supreme Court stated, at p. 797, that any enrichment or benefit to the defendant must be conferred directly and specifically on the defendant and that it is not sufficient that the enrichment or benefit to the defendant is indirect:
While not much discussed by common law authorities to date, it appears that a further feature which the benefit must possess if it is to support a claim for unjust enrichment is that it be more than an incidental blow-by. A secondary collateral benefit will not suffice. To permit recovery for incidental collateral benefits would be to admit of the possibility that a plaintiff could recover twice — once from the person who is the immediate beneficiary of the payment or benefit (the parents of the juveniles placed in group homes in this case), and again from the person who reaped an incidental benefit. … It would also open the doors to claims against an undefined class of persons who, while not the recipients of the payment or work conferred by the plaintiff, indirectly benefit from it. This the courts have declined to do. The cases in which claims for unjust enrichment have been made out generally deal with benefits conferred directly and specifically on the defendant, such as the services rendered for the defendant or money paid to the defendant. This limit is also recognized in other jurisdictions. For example, German restitutionary law confines recovery to cases of direct benefits… [Internal citations omitted, emphasis added.]
. Multi-Tech Contracting 2000 Inc. v. Weston Property Management

In Multi-Tech Contracting 2000 Inc. v. Weston Property Management (Div Ct, 2009) the Divisional Court applied a quantum meruit calculation of damages where there was no contractual specification of compensation:
[5] There was no palpable and overriding error on the part of the trial judge in coming to the conclusion that the work was actually done. It was a finding that was reasonably open to him on the evidence that was before him and on purely factual findings such as that, he is owed considerable deference. Once that factual finding was made, given the absence of a formal contract as specifying amounts, it was open to the trial judge to calculate appropriate compensation for the respondent on a quantum meruit basis. Indeed the appellant’s Statement of Defence invited the judge to do so if he found that there was entitlement to recover.

[6] It would inappropriate for the appellant to get the benefit of the work done without providing for some sort of compensation. The actual amount of compensation ordered was not unfair; it was roughly the same as would have been paid by the appellant to have someone else perform the services.


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