One of the basic elements of quasi-contract, and probably the most complex, is the concept of benefit. Its origin lies in the early actions to recover for unjust enrichment, and the early characteristics, for the most part, have persisted to the present time. While "enrichment" is no longer an accurate synonym for benefit, as it once was, the qualitative "unjust" still retains its vigor. Thus, "unjustified benefit" is a more accurate name for the concept. As used in quasi-contract and related fields of law, the concept is composed of several factors, no one of which can be considered as invariable. Can we with value take this concept apart, as a biologist would dissect a guinea pig, and study its pieces? In a sense we cannot, for, like the guinea pig, if it is cut up it loses the characteristics of a functioning organism. But as the biologist learns more about the complete guinea pig by studying the function and makeup of each of its parts, so by analysis we may gain a better understanding of the concept of benefit. There are two major questions: (a) What is "benefit"? and (b) What is "justice"?
George A. Rinker S.Ed.,
QUASI-CONTRACTS-CONCEPT OF BENEFIT,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol46/iss4/7