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Able Septic Service v. Hults

A-6880-98T1 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2000) (Unpublished)

QUANTUM MERUIT—Where a party receives the benefit of work performed and the quoted price is not excessive or beyond market rates, the contractor deserves to be paid.

A property owner called a septic service to pump out tanks. A price of thirteen cents a gallon was quoted. The owner asked this service to pump out 2000 gallons on the theory that when her property manager returned, the manager would attend to the balance. Later that day, the septic service called and spoke to the owner’s husband and told him that it would be possible to pump out more from the tanks. The parties disputed the question of whether additional pumping was authorized. In any event, the service pumped out additional gallonage for which the property owner would not pay. The Court held that because the property owner received the benefit of the work performed and there was no proof that the quoted price was excessive or beyond market rates, the property owner would be unfairly benefitted if she were permitted to retain the value of having had necessary work performed while being excused from paying for it.

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