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Boomer V. Muir Notes

BCL Law Notes > Restitution of Unjust Enrichment BCL Notes

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BOOMER V. MUIR FACTS R.C. Storrie & Co., a co-partnership composed of Robert B. Muir and Robert C. Storrie, had a general contract with the Feather River Power Company to build a hydroelectric project in the high mountains on certain tributaries of the north fork of the Feather river. The project was one of great magnitude, and under their contract Storrie & Co. were to receive a flat price of
$7,691,889.... The project involved, as one item, the construction of a storage dam in Buck's Valley to impound the waters of Buck's creek. On May 28, 1926, Storrie & Co. entered into a subcontract with H.H. Boomer for the construction by him of the Buck's creek dam, the work to be done in accordance with the plans and specifications of the Feather River Power Company and to the satisfaction of that company's engineer. Under this subcontract Storrie & Co. were to deliver at the dam site to Boomer all cement, gravel, sand, steel and other metal work which was to be a permanent part of the dam. Boomer was to furnish all other materials and labor and equipment. On the basis of such estimates Storrie & Co. were to pay Boomer monthly 90 per cent. of the estimate, the remaining 10 per cent to be paid upon the completion of the contract. When Boomer commenced performance of his subcontract, almost immediately friction developed between Boomer and Storrie & Co., and such friction and disputes continued as long as Boomer remained on the job. A discussion of the nature and character of these disputes will be deferred to a later portion of this opinion. Suffice it to say here that, when Boomer shut down for the winter at the end of 1926, a much smaller portion of the work had been done by him than the parties had anticipated at the inception of their contract. In a mutual effort to speed up the work in 1927, Boomer and Storrie & Co. entered into a supplemental agreement on March 4, 1927, whereby the original contract between them was considerably modified. Boomer proceeded with the work on the dam in 1927, and the disputes between Boomer and Storrie & Co. continued much as before, culminating with Boomer's leaving the job uncompleted in December, 1927. The relevant claim made by Boomber here is upon a quantum meruit for the reasonable value of the work done less the payments received. The dispute here arose because here, the market price would have allowed Boomer to recover $250,000, whereas if it had

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