Washington Law Review


Adam B. Brotman


Under Washington case law, quantum meruit is an appropriate means of recovery for contractors when substantial changes occur that are not covered by the contract and were not contemplated by the parties. The Nelse Mortensen and Hensel Phelps decisions severely limited quantum meruit by precluding contractors from recovering under this doctrine as a matter of law. This Comment examines how these two cases are at odds with the historical and philosophical underpinnings of quantum meruit, and with the Washington Supreme Court's decision in Berg v. Hudesman. Rather than apply Hensel Phelps's plain meaning analysis, future quantum meruit decisions should follow Berg's lead and interpret the parties' intentions in the context of their overall relationship.

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