Sparks v. Gustafson
Alaska Supreme Court
750 P.2d 338 (1988)
Gustafson (plaintiff) was a close personal friend and business associate of Robert Sparks, Sr. (decedent). In 1980, Sparks, Sr. purchase a building. Gustafson managed the building without charge for Sparks, Sr. until Sparks, Sr. died on March 1, 1981. Gustafson continued to perform extensive management and maintenance work on the building without charge. Gustafson did so with the full knowledge and approval of Robert Sparks, Jr. (defendant), executor of Sparks, Sr.’s estate (Estate) (defendant). In February 1982, the Estate signed a document titled “purchase agreement” that indicated that Gustafson had purchased the building from the Estate. The purchase agreement stated that Gustafson would receive the deed to the building as soon as details of the purchase were worked out. The Estate sold the building to a third party, however, in February 1983. Gustafson ceased managing the building at this time. In July 1983, Gustafson brought suit in Alaska state court against the Estate and Robert Sparks, Jr. on the ground that the Estate and Sparks, Jr. breached an oral agreement to sell the building to Gustafson. Additionally, Gustafson claimed that he was entitled to the value of the services he performed in managing and maintaining the building based on a theory of unjust enrichment. The trial court held that it would be inequitable to allow the Estate to retain the benefits Gustafson had incurred upon the building at his own expense. The trial court ordered the Estate to pay Gustafson $65,706.07, and Sparks, Jr. appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Matthews, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 170,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.