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Marcellous v. David
Louisiana Court of Appeal
252 So. 2d 178 (1971)
Mrs. Coralie David (defendant) was an elderly widow who lived alone in a house she owned. Mrs. David wanted to move her house to another town and live there. Mrs. David proposed to members of her family that if one of them would provide a lot with a cesspool that her house could be placed on, pay for the expense of moving the house, and allow her to live in the house rent free for the remainder of her life, she would leave the house to that person in her will. Mrs. David’s niece, Gloria Marcellous, and her niece’s husband, George Marcellous (defendant), agreed to this proposition. George purchased two lots, moved the house to one of them, placed it on brick pillars, installed a cesspool and attached it to the house’s plumbing, and painted the house. Mrs. David executed a will leaving all of her property to Gloria. Mrs. David lived in the house rent free for almost two years and during that time made improvements to the house that amounted to approximately $1,200. Mrs. David and Gloria eventually had a falling out. Mrs. David then asked her brother to help her move her house from the Marcellouses’ lot. Her brother purchased a nearby lot and moved Mrs. David’s house to it. George sued Mrs. David for the return of the building and for damages caused to his land by its removal. The trial court held that Mrs. David retained ownership of the house and was therefore entitled to remove it to her brother’s lot. However, the trial court awarded George $245 for the cost of moving the house to his lot and painting it, under the equitable principle of unjust enrichment. George appealed, and Mrs. David answered the appeal, alleging that the award to George was in error.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Culpepper, J.)
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