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Bailey v. West

Supreme Court of Rhode Island
249 A.2d 414 (1969)


Facts

Richard West (defendant) purchased a racehorse that turned out to be lame. West told his trainer to return the horse. The seller did not accept the returned horse, and the horse was shipped instead to the farm of Howard Bailey (plaintiff). Upon the horse’s arrival, Bailey was aware that there was a dispute regarding the horse’s owner. Nevertheless, Bailey boarded and took care of the horse. Bailey sent monthly bills to West for the maintenance and care of the horse. As soon as he received the first bill, West replied that he did not own the horse and would not pay for any boarding. Bailey brought suit against West to recover for his services. Bailey claimed both a contract implied in fact and a quasi-contract. The trial court found a contract implied in fact and held West liable to Bailey for boarding services, but only for the period until Bailey received West’s notice that West did not own the horse. Both parties appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Paolino, J.)

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