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Dews v. Halliburton Industries
Arkansas Supreme Court
708 S.W.2d 67 (1986)
Bruce Massey (defendant) contracted with Lyle Dews (defendant) to drill an oil well on Dews’s property. In return, Dews agreed that if the well produced oil in profitable quantity, he would share the profits with Massey. Massey subcontracted the drilling work, for hire, to Halliburton Industries, Inc. and others (subcontractors) (plaintiffs). Throughout the work phase, Dews intended to withhold Massey’s share of the profits for Massey’s perceived breach of an unrelated provision of their contract. Dews knew this would leave Massey unable to pay the subcontractors. The completed well proved productive. When neither Massey nor Dews paid the subcontractors for their work, the subcontractors sued. The trial court ruled in favor of the subcontractors, relying in part on the theory of quasi-contract. Dews appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Holt, C.J.)
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