Cleveland, OH asked in Contracts for Ohio

Q: Can a friend sue you for labor costs for agreeing to install lighting in your home with no written contract?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Bruce Martin Broyles
Bruce Martin Broyles
  • Lancaster, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: Your friend seems to be treating the installation of lighting as an arm's length contract for services. It was your understanding that he was simply helping you as a friend, or providing you with his services gratuitously. If there was no discussion of the terms, then there was no meeting of the minds, and no contract. Your friend may also attempt to assert a quasi contractual claim of unjust enrichment; i.e. there was not enough to have a meeting of the minds or a contract, but to allow you to keep the benefits without paying for his services would result in you being unjustly enriched. This would require you to consider the amount of time, labor and expense provided by your friend, and compare it to the surrounding circumstances: how do you know your friend, how long have you been friends, do you regularly help one another. Considering all of the above factors have you been unjustly enriched?

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