Legal Memorandum: Supporting a claim of unjust enrichment

Issue: Under Illinois law, what must be pled to support a claim for unjust enrichment?

Area of Law: Contracts
Keywords: ; Unjust Enrichment; equity; Good Conscience; Reasonable Value
Jurisdiction: Illinois
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 03/01/2016

To plead a cause of action for unjust enrichment, a plaintiff must allege facts that would support "the conclusion that it conferred a benefit upon the defendant which the defendant has unjustly retained in violation of fundamental principles of equity and good conscience." Karen Stavins Enterprises, Inc. v. Community College District No. 508, 2015 IL App (1st) 150356, ¶ 7. "Stated otherwise, a plaintiff must show that it has furnished" something of value "which the defendant received under circumstances that would make it unjust to retain without paying a reasonable value therefore [sic]." Id.

Where the benefit is not directly conferred by the plaintiff but instead is received from a third party, the plaintiff must allege that "(1) the benefit should have been given to the plaintiff, but the third party mistakenly gave it to the defendant instead [citation], (2) the defendant procured the benefit from the third party through some type of wrongful conduct [citation], or (3) the plaintiff for some other reason had a better claim to the benefit than the defendant [citation]." HPI Health Care Services, Inc. v. Mt. Vernon Hospital, Inc., 131 Ill.2d 145, 161-62 (1989).

Elgin v. Arch Ins. Co., No. 2-15-0013, 2016.IL.0000274 (Ill. Ct. App. Feb. 10, 2016) (VersusLaw).

Date: March 1, 2016

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