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Texas Unjust Enrichment

©2014 Mark Courtois and Diane Davis

Unjust enrichment is an equitable theory of recovery holding that one who receives benefits unjustly should make restitution for those benefits, and is not dependent on the existence of a wrong. Bransom v. Standard Hardware, Inc., 874 S.W.2d 919, 927 (Tex. App.--Fort Worth 1994, writ denied). A person is unjustly enriched when he obtains a "benefit from another by fraud, duress, or the taking of an undue advantage." Heldenfels Bros., Inc. v. City of Corpus Christi, 832 S.W.2d 39, 41 (Tex.1992). It occurs when a person sought to be charged has wrongfully secured a benefit or has passively received a beenfit which would be unconscionable to retain. City of Corpus v. S.S. Smith & Sons Masonry, Inc., 736 S.W.2d 247, 250 (Tex. App.--Corpus Christi 1987, writ denied). Unjust enrichment characterizes the result or failure to make restitution of benefits received under such circumstances as to give rise to implied or quasi-contract to repay. Allen v. Berrey, 645 S.W.2d 550, 553 (Tex. App.--San Antonio 1982, writ ref'd n.r.e.).