Empiregas, Inc. of Rolla v. Whitson

Citation902 S.W.2d 347
Decision Date26 June 1995
Docket NumberNo. 19575,19575
PartiesEMPIREGAS, INC. OF ROLLA, Respondent, v. Elbert WHITSON and Hallie Whitson, Appellants.
CourtMissouri Court of Appeals

Charles Bennett and Lee H. Bushie, Dietzmann & Bushie, Rolla, for appellants.

Edward D. Hoertel, Hoertel & Hoertel, Rolla, for respondent.

CROW, Judge.

Plaintiff, Empiregas, Inc. of Rolla, sued Defendants, Elbert Whitson and Hallie Whitson, for $11,432.47 allegedly owed by Defendants for propane gas supplied by Plaintiff to a mobile home park owned by Defendants. A jury returned an $8,000 verdict for Plaintiff, with interest at "9%." The trial court entered judgment per the verdict.

Defendants appeal. Their lone point relied on avers the trial court erred in basing the verdict-directing instruction on MAI 26.05 [1980 Revision], the pattern instruction for an action in quantum meruit. Defendants maintain Plaintiff's petition pled an action on account, hence the verdict-directing instruction should have been patterned on MAI 26.03 [1969 New], the pattern instruction for an action on account.

The part of the petition pertinent to Defendants' claim of error reads:

"3. At various days and times, and at the special insistence and request of Defendants, Plaintiff sold and delivered to Defendants certain goods and merchandise of the value and for the price of $11,432.47, the items of which, as well as the dates when the various articles were sold, and the prices charged therefore [sic], respectively, appear from the following bill of items attached hereto and collectively labeled as Exhibit A and incorporated herein by reference.

4. Plaintiff says the prices charged for said goods are, and were at the time when said goods were sold and delivered, reasonable and proper, and Defendants promised and agreed to pay the same, but though often requested to do so, they have failed and refused, and still fail and refuse to pay the same and every part thereof.

5. Plaintiff says it first demanded payment of said account of Defendants on the 18th day of October, 1983."

Attached to the petition is a five-page "printout" from a computer showing a multitude of fuel deliveries to Defendants' mobile home park, the dates thereof, the gallonage, and the prices.

Quantum meruit is based on a promise implied by the law that a person will pay reasonable compensation for valuable services or materials provided at his request or with his approval. McCardie & Akers Construction Co., Inc. v. Bonney, 647 S.W.2d 193, 194 (Mo.App.E.D.1983).

The petition here avers that at Defendants' insistence and request, Plaintiff sold and delivered to Defendants the propane fuel shown on the printout. The petition also avers the fuel was "of the value ... of $11,432.47," and that Defendants refused Plaintiff's demand for payment. Although a petition in quantum meruit should allege the reasonable value of the services rendered or the goods furnished, omission of such...

To continue reading

Request your trial
7 cases
  • Am. Eagle Waste Indus., LLC v. St. Louis Cnty.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 30, 2012
    ...deemed sufficient, a petition need not even label the theory upon which a plaintiff seeks recovery. Empiregas, Inc. of Rolla v. Whitson, 902 S.W.2d 347, 348 (Mo.App.1995). An appellate court is “primarily concerned with the correctness of the trial court's result, not the route taken by the......
  • Memco v. Chronister
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • September 27, 2000
    ...plaintiff to relief and informs the defendant of what the plaintiff will attempt to establish at trial." Empiregas, Inc. of Rolla v. Whitson, 902 S.W.2d 347, 348[4] (Mo.App. 1995). Plaintiff repeatedly used the term "fraud" throughout the petition. Furthermore, Plaintiff described the acts ......
  • American Eagle Waste Indus., LLC v. St. Louis Cnty., SC92072
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 31, 2012
    ...To be deemed sufficient, apetition need not even label the theory upon which a plaintiff seeks recovery. Empiregas, Inc. of Rolla v. Whitson, 902 S.W.2d 347, 348 (Mo. App. 1995). An appellate court is "primarily concerned with the correctness of the trial court's result, not the route taken......
  • Thomas v. Evans, 21192
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • April 7, 1997
    ...failure to state a claim if it invokes principles of substantive law which entitle the plaintiff to relief. Empiregas, Inc. of Rolla v. Whitson, 902 S.W.2d 347, 348 (Mo.App.1995). In assessing the sufficiency of a petition, we accept all properly pleaded facts as true, give them a liberal c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT