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Daniel Hadavi

Professor Christopher Ng
BLAW 280 W 7:00 PM
12 October 2016
Schumacher v. Schumacher PC #10 p. 338
In 1994, Schumacher and his wife and their two daughters moved to Finland, Minnesota, to
operate a bar and restaurant called the Trestle Inn, which was owned by his parents.
Schumacher claimed that his parents induced him to leave his previous job and to make the
move by orally agreeing to (1) provide him a job managing the inn for life and (2) leave the
business and a large parcel of land to him when his first parent died. Schumacher was given free
reign in managing the inn and was allowed to retain all profits of the business, but was not given
any salary or wage. While he was operating the inn, Schumacher used his own funds to build a
home for his family on his parents land, install a well, buy equipment for the business, and
develop various marketing tools for the business. In 1998, Schumacher suspected that his
parents were about to sell the inn and the adjoining property. He brought suit for a restraining
order to prevent them from doing so, claiming breach of contract and unjust enrichment, among
other claims. In October 1998, the parents notified Schumacher that his employment at the inn
and his right to possess the adjoining property were terminated. The parents moved for summary
judgment. The trial court held that Schumachers oral contract claim was invalid because the
contract needed to be in writing under applicable Minnesota law.
I: Did Schumacher have a valid claim for unjust enrichment?
R: Unjust enrichment is where one party confers a benefit on another who knowingly accepts it
and retains it under circumstances that make it unjust to do so without paying for it. In order to
establish a claim for unjust enrichment, the claimant must show that the other party knowingly
received something of value to which they were not entitled, and that the circumstances are such
that it would be unjust for that person to retain the benefit.
A: The defendants sought to sell the property, after agreeing at an earlier date, that they would
allow him to run the inn for life. Although the trial court held that Schumachers oral contract
was invalid under Minnesota law, the question of the unjust enrichment claim must be addressed.
The plaintiff is seeking equitable relief for the funds spent on the Trestle Inn. In his time running
the Trestle Inn Schumacher invested his own money, building a home, a well, and installing new
equipment for the business. The defendants, Schumachers parents, received the benefit as
conferred from their son. It would be unjust to for them to retain the benefit of the additional
investment. They knowingly received something of value and upon the sale of the business, only
they would retain the value. The plaintiff is entitled to equitable relief and should be compensate
for the funds and value added to the business and adjoining land.
C: Claim for unjust enrichment granted.