Quasi Contract

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DEFINITION

A legal agreement created by the courts between two parties who did not have a previous obligation to each other. A normal contract requires two parties to consent to mutually agreeable terms. Under a quasi contract, neither party is originally intended to create an agreement. Instead, an arrangement is imposed by a judge to rectify an occurrence of unjust enrichment.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS

When one party knowingly receives something for nothing, the courts may impose a quasi contract. For example, if UPS delivers a new television to Zoe that she did not order and she keeps the television and does not attempt to return it to the company that mistakenly shipped it to her, a judge could impose a quasi-contract to force her to pay for the television. Zoe did not intend to purchase the TV, and the TV company did not intend to sell her a TV, but since she chose to benefit from the TV at the company's expense, the court requires her to reimburse the TV company to make the situation fair.


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