Tort and Quasi Contract

Quasi contract cover those situations where a person is held liable to another without any agreement, for money or benefit received by him to which the other person is better entitled.

According to the Orthodox view the judicial basis for the obligation under a quasi contract is the existence of a hypothetical contract which is implied by law. But the Radical view is that the obligation in a quasi contract is sui generis and its basis is prevention of unjust enrichment.

Quasi contract differs from tort in that:

  • #There is no duty owed to persons for the duty to repay money or benefit received unlike tort, where there is a duty imposed.
  • In quasi contract the damages recoverable are liquidated damages, and not unliquidated damages as in tort.

Quasi contracts resembles tort and differs from contracts in one aspect. The obligation in quasi contract and in tort is imposed by law and not under any agreement. In yet another dimension quasi contract differs from both tort and contract.

If, for example, A pays a sum of money by mistake to B. in Quasi contract, B is under no duty not to accept the money and there is only a secondary duty to return it. While in both tort and contract, there is a primary duty the breach of which gives rise to remedial duty to pay compensation.

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By Hassham

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