constructive contract

Primary tabs

A constructive contract, also known as a quasi-contract, is an obligation created by the law of equity and justice in the absence of any agreement between the parties to prevent unjust enrichment. Notably, a court cannot find a quasi-contract if there already exists a contract, either express or implied, covering the same subject matter. 

As established in Bailey v. West, a constructive contract may occur “if there exists a benefit conferred upon defendant by plaintiff, appreciation by the defendant of such benefit, and acceptance and retention by the defendant of such benefit under such circumstances that it would be inequitable to retain the benefit without payment of the value thereof.”

[Last updated in July of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]