Fowler v. Scott

Decision Date17 May 2005
Docket NumberNo. ED 84820.,ED 84820.
Citation164 S.W.3d 119
PartiesMimi FOWLER, Plaintiff/Appellant, v. Gary SCOTT, Defendant/Respondent.
CourtMissouri Supreme Court

Mimi Fowler, Ferguson, MO, pro se.

Daniel L. Goldberg, St. Charles, MO, for respondent.

KATHIANNE KNAUP CRANE, Judge.

Plaintiff, Mimi Fowler, filed a breach of contract action against defendant, Gary Scott, to recover damages for breach of contract, alleging that defendant had failed to do all of the work she had paid him to do in constructing a room addition on her home. Defendant filed a counterclaim that included a count in quantum meruit to recover the reasonable value of the goods and services he supplied in constructing the room addition. After a bench trial, the trial court entered judgment in quantum meruit in defendant's favor and awarded him $11,776.00. It also entered judgment in defendant's favor on plaintiff's breach of contract action. Plaintiff appeals only from the trial court's judgment on her claim for breach of contract. We affirm.

Plaintiff does not challenge the trial court's judgment in defendant's favor on his counterclaim. In fact, in her brief, she has advised that she has paid this judgment.

Because plaintiff has not appealed from the trial court's adjudication of defendant's counterclaim, that judgment is final. As a result, principles of collateral estoppel estop her from disputing the findings necessarily encompassed by that judgment on appeal of a different claim. Boswell v. American Ins. Co., 835 S.W.2d 454, 460 (Mo.App.1992); Arnold v. Fletcher, 761 S.W.2d 261, 262 (Mo.App.1988); Franksen v. George, 725 S.W.2d 878, 880 (Mo.App.1987). We must therefore determine whether the findings the court necessarily made in entering judgment in defendant's favor on his quantum meruit claim collaterally estop plaintiff from appealing the denial of her breach of action claim.

Quantum meruit is a remedy for enforcement of quasi-contractual obligations. Rolla Lumber Company v. Evans, 482 S.W.2d 519, 522 (Mo.App.1972). The elements of a quasi-contract claim are "1) a benefit conferred upon the defendant by the plaintiff; 2) appreciation by the defendant of the fact of such benefit; 3) acceptance and retention by the defendant of that benefit under circumstances in which retention without payment would be inequitable." Johnson Group, Inc. v. Grasso Bros., Inc., 939 S.W.2d 28, 30 (Mo.App.1997) (quoting Erslon v. Vee-Jay Cement Contracting Co., 728 S.W.2d 711, 713 (Mo.App.1987)). To recover under quantum meruit, the party bringing the claim must plead and prove: 1) that it provided materials or services to the defending party at the request of or with the acquiescence of the defending party; 2) that those materials or services had a certain reasonable value, and 3) that the defending party, despite demands of the party bringing the claim, has failed and refused to pay the reasonable value of those materials and labor. Little Joe's Asphalt v. C.W. Luebbert Const., 74 S.W.3d 830, 833 (Mo.App.2002).

At trial, defendant adduced evidence that he provided goods and services to plaintiff for the room addition with a value in the amount of $39,067.00, that plaintiff had paid $27,000, but failed to pay the remainder. Plaintiff testified to items that she purchased for the project and work she and friends did on the project that she claimed she had paid for under the contract and other complaints she had with defendant's work.

In a quasi-contract case based on quantum meruit, the measure of recovery is the reasonable value of goods or services furnished to the other party. Johnson Group, 939 S.W.2d at 30. It was undisputed that plaintiff had paid $27,000. By rendering a judgment...

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3 cases
  • Cent. Parking Sys. of Mo., LLC v. Tucker Parking Holdings, LLC
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • April 18, 2017
    ...without explicitly discussing whether the plaintiff proved that the parties had a mutual expectation of payment. See, e.g., Fowler v. Scott , 164 S.W.3d 119 (discussing the defendant's "request or acquiescence" to plaintiff's services and the reasonable value of said services, without analy......
  • Downing v. Riceland Foods, Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Missouri
    • March 19, 2015
    ...in that state. See Sachs Elec. Co. v. HS Const. Co., 86 S.W.3d 445, 454-55 (Mo. Ct. App. 2002); see also Fowler v. Scott, 164 S.W.3d 119, 120 (Mo. Ct. App. 2005) ("Quantum meruit is a remedy for enforcement of quasi-contractual obligations."). Section 188 emphasizes five contacts to be cons......
  • Town and Country Appraisals, LLC v. Hart
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • November 27, 2007
    ...retention by the defendant of the benefit under circumstances in which such retention without payment is inequitable. Fowler v. Scott, 164 S.W.3d 119, 120 (Mo.App. E.D.) (citation omitted). Here, Appraiser failed to plead facts sufficient to support Hart's individual liability, namely that ......

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