Business Associations, Pages 110–111

McCollum v. Clothier

Supreme Court of Utah, 1952

Facts:

Defendant had a mortgage on property of a bankrupt company that was going to be sold at a sheriff's sale. Plaintiff was being paid to help the trustee in bankruptcy. Defendant's attorney contacted plaintiff and asked him to help show and sell the items to attract higher prices. Plaintiff obliged and managed to get plaintiff a significantly higher amount than expected. Defendant then refused to pay, saying that he never agreed to and that he just intended plaintiff to help gratuitously. Plaintiff sued to get paid.

Procedural History:

Plaintiff recovered a judgment on quantum meruit.

Issue:

Was it implied that plaintiff would be paid for the work done for defendant?

Rule:

There is an implied contract to pay an agent for his services when the circumstances were such that the principal had been expected to pay for such services.

Reasoning:

Defendant had already been working in a similar capacity for the trustee, and he was being paid for that. This would imply that defendant would pay him for asking him to continue the work.

Holding:

Yes, it was implied that defendant would pay plaintiff for the work done for him. Affirmed.


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