What is “Unjust Enrichment”?
Unjust enrichment is a legal concept that refers to situations where one party has been enriched at the expense of another party, without a legal justification for that enrichment.
In such cases, the enriched party may be required to make restitution to the other party, to restore the status of the parties. Typically this claim is brought where there is no express contract between the parties.
In Arkansas, unjust enrichment is a recognized cause of action in civil litigation. There are four elements to an unjust enrichment claim: (1) that the claimant provided goods, services, or money to the other party, who received the benefit of them; (2) that the circumstances were such that the claimant reasonably expected to be paid the value of the good, services, or money provided to the other party; (3) that the other party was aware the claimant was providing such goods, services, or money with the expectation of being paid and accepted goods, services, or money; and (4) the reasonable value of the goods, services, or money received by the other party.
For example, suppose that a lawn service knocks on your door and asks if you’d like them to mow your yard. You can clearly see that this is a business. You tell them to please mow your yard. If they mow your yard and then you refuse to pay them, they could have a claim for unjust enrichment against you even though you all had no express agreement that you would provide payment for the services.
If you believe that you may have a claim for unjust enrichment in Arkansas, it's important to consult with an attorney in a timely manner to assess the strength of your case and the potential damages you may expect to recover. Keep in mind that the statute of limitations for an unjust enrichment claim is typically three years.