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Bastian v. Gafford

Supreme Court of Idaho
563 P.2d 48 (1977)


Facts

In 1972, V.H. Gafford (defendant) asked Leo Bastian (plaintiff) if he would be interested in building an office building on part of Gafford’s land. Bastian orally agreed to construct the building and began drafting the plans. After the plans were substantially complete, Gafford sought financing for the construction project from First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Twin Falls (the Association). The Association denied financing unless Gafford received a firm bid for the project from a contractor. Gafford contacted Bastian, who refused to submit a firm bid and would only proceed with the project on a cost-plus basis. Gafford then hired another architect to draw a second set of plans and employed another contractor to construct the building. Bastian filed a lien upon Gafford’s real property for $3,250 based on the amount of goods and services rendered in drawing up the plans. Bastian then brought suit to foreclose the lien on the ground that an implied-in-fact contract had been created for his services. The trial court ruled for Gafford on the ground that Gafford had not been unjustly enriched because he never used the plans drafted by Bastian. Bastian appealed, alleging the trial court failed to distinguish between a quasi-contract, which requires unjust enrichment for recovery, and a contract implied in fact, which does not.

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Holding and Reasoning (Donaldson, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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