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What Is a Quasi-Contract?

A quasi-contract is also referred to as an implied-in-law contract or implied contract, and is not a true contract in the legal sense of the word. A court order can issue the necessity for a quasi-contract in order to prevent a party from deriving gains that may ultimately be to the detriment of another. As much as it is not a true contract, a quasi-contract can be considered as a legal substitute for one.

Court orders demand for the existence of a quasi-contract when a voluntary transaction was done without the solicitation of the other party. As such, the cases involved in quasi-contracts often deal with the need to ensure justice since one party may be benefitting from something that may be harmful to another party or a dispute over payment of services or goods rendered occurs.

As a general rule, quasi-contracts ensure that no party is unjustly deprived of payment or restitution for a service or good rendered that may not have been solicited by another party. Thus, a quasi-contract can remedy such disputes by paying damages to the plaintiff. The damages to be paid are limited only to the extent to which the plaintiff may have been affected negatively, and cannot be more than what is necessary.

It is difficult to implement quasi-contracts because unlike true contracts, there are no clear, emphatic words that express a party’s wish to enter into a transaction with another party. This is implied, thus the common reference of a quasi-contract as an implied contract.

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