Wilson v. Gutierrez

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Remedies
  • Date Filed: 02-26-2014
  • Case #: A146521
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Wollheim, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; and Schuman, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A benefit that is conferred not as a gift but as expected substituted payment can support a finding of unjust enrichment.

Plaintiffs (“Wilson”), the mother and sister of defendant (“Gutierrez”), appeal from a judgment in a forcible entry and wrongful detainer (FED) action which arose from Gutierrez’s long-term tenancy in a house owned by Wilson. Wilson argued that the trial court erred by finding in favor of Gutierrez’s unjust enrichment counterclaim because there was insufficient evidence to support the finding that Wilson was unjustly enriched by Gutierrez’s house-related payments and financial support since these were given in lieu of rent and in the context of their family relationship, and, that there was no evidentiary basis for the amount of damages awarded. The Court of Appeals held that the record did contain sufficient evidence to support the trial court's finding that Gutierrez conferred benefits on Wilson when he gave Wilson money that was not intended as a gift. Wilson expected that money and spent it, so it would be allowing Wilson to retain the benefits without compensation would, in fact, be unjust. The record also contained sufficient evidence to support the amount of damages awarded. Affirmed.

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