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Foundational Principles of Contract Law$
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Melvin A. Eisenberg

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199731404

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199731404.001.0001

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The Role of Restitution in Contract Law

The Role of Restitution in Contract Law

Chapter:
(p.319) Twenty-Five The Role of Restitution in Contract Law
Source:
Foundational Principles of Contract Law
Author(s):

Melvin A. Eisenberg

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199731404.003.0025

Chapter 25 concerns the role of restitution in contract law. There are three basic types of case in which a contract-law plaintiff is awarded restitutionary damages. In the first type, the defendant has breached the contract but the plaintiff elects to recover restitutionary damages rather than expectation or reliance damages because restitutionary damages are higher. In the second type, the plaintiff has breached a contract after rendering partial performance, the defendant has not paid the plaintiff for the benefit conferred by his performance because the plaintiff has breached, and the plaintiff requests restitutionary damages for that benefit. In the third type the plaintiff rendered a performance pursuant to a contract that is unenforceable on some ground, and therefore is unable to bring a claim on the contract. Accordingly, the plaintiff requests restitutionary damages.

Keywords:   restitutionary damages, unenforceable contracts, partial performance, breach by defendant, breach by plaintiff

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