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Dumped with fees unpaid by lessee

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  • #41
    I agree with others that if you scheduled the vet to do the procedure, then you probably need to go ahead and pay the vet and pursue payment from the other person through other means. If she scheduled the procedure, then I would not step in and pay the bill (at least not right away).

    Realistically I think that your best case scenario if your contract did not specify clearly who was paying for what is that you guys talk it over and come to some kind of agreement to split the costs. This would also give you your best chance of maintaining a decent relationship with these people. Without hearing their side of the story, I'm not going to make a snap judgment about them, plus, the horse world is a small place and sometimes it is worth a few $$ to not make enemies. If your contract with these people wasn't clear, is it possible that they did not have a clear understanding of what was expected of them with the lease?

    In the future, when you lease a horse I think it is preferable for the owner to maintain the insurance policy and to provide a receipt for such and a copy of the policy to the person leasing the horse and have them reimburse you for that insurance either up front or in installments. That way you KNOW that the insurance is in place.

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    • #42
      My understanding is that the person leasing had contractually agreed to return the horse to pre-lease condition, and that this is what the vet visit was about. As the appointment was to honour the lease to the satisfaction of the OP, it makes full sense to me that the OP may have made, and been involved in, the appointment, as she had an interest in making sure the required procedures were completed.

      It sounds like there is a bit of a grey area in that the vet felt there were a few options to consider, and that perhaps the leaser didn't fully agree to all options.

      I would try to compromise, and see if the person leasing were willing to pay the amount that they clearly did agree to (vet exam, and one of the procedures I am thinking), while you cover the rest....or some other deal that helps smooth out the grey areas in the email and in person conversation, and fits what the contract outlines.

      The insurance part confuses me...I didn't know someone who didn't own the horse could get insurance under their own name for it, but have you considered talking to the insurance co, explaining the mistake, and back paying so there is no lapse?
      Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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      • #43
        I've read some posts, gleaned through others. The deal is the lessee's bills cannot and should not be put off to a third party, that party being the owner. Depending on what your lease contract says about bills - I'm assuming that training or board bills may or may not be included or is it just vet bills. Most full leases, or even free leases are designed to relieve the owner of part or all of the expenses related to the horse during the lease period. If the lessee defaults on their bills - it's their bills. But what was the lease arrangement. I could see if the lessee and owner were at the same barn and owner paid bills and then owner asked lessee to pay them for the bills - that would then make the owner responsible for the bills and certainly an easy way for the lessee to get out of paying. If the lessee was being billed directly by the providers (trainer, farrier, vet) then the owner is a 3rd party and the providers really can't go after owner for payment. but it really comes down to how the contract is worded.

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        • #44
          Originally posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
          Responding to meupatoes--Actually, we covered all that stuff (and more) in my contracts class, first year of law school. (I'm trying to be helpful here.)
          Did you also cover the fact that quantum meruit is based on a CONTRACT, which for whatever reason was only able to be partially performed due to cancellation or an act of God? Therefore the partially performing party is entitled to partial payment for the services they did render even though the whole contract was not completed.

          So if Party A contracts with Party B to build a dock, and Party B gets halfway done, and then a typhoon happens and the partially built dock is destroyed, Party A can't say, "Well, you never finished the dock so I ain't payin'." Party A owes money for materials and labor that Party B expended to build half the dock.

          It has nothing to do with sticking Party C with the bill because they own the boat that would have been tied to the dock.
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          • #45
            Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
            Did you also cover the fact that quantum meruit is based on a CONTRACT, which for whatever reason was only able to be partially performed due to cancellation or an act of God? Therefore the partially performing party is entitled to partial payment for the services they did render even though the whole contract was not completed.

            So if Party A contracts with Party B to build a dock, and Party B gets halfway done, and then a typhoon happens and the partially built dock is destroyed, Party A can't say, "Well, you never finished the dock so I ain't payin'." Party A owes money for materials and labor that Party B expended to build half the dock.

            It has nothing to do with sticking Party C with the bill because they own the boat that would have been tied to the dock.
            Look at the elements in your Black's. It is an equitable theory based on the supposition that no one who benefits from the labor of another should be unjustly enriched thereby. If there were a valid contract, there would be no need for an equitable remedy.The elements are: (1) valuable service provided (2) to the person sought to be charged (3) which services were accepted by that person (4) under such circumstances as the person sought to be charged would have been reasonably notified that the person performing the services expected to be paid by the person sought to be charged.

            I think that in the circumstances that were described by the OP, the owner is liable to the vet. The lessee may be liable to the owner. There is no way that the vet is bound to any contract between the owner and the lessee. If the vet had a contract with the lessee himself--well, that's a different story.
            "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

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            • #46
              I wish the OP would just come back and answer the question of who actually scheduled this work with the vet. I think that would make things more clear.

              Comment


              • #47
                Originally posted by goldcoast View Post
                . Horse had work done the very last day of their lease in order for the horse to be returned in its original condition.
                This is the important quote, especially if this was per your contract!

                No matter if the OP or the leasee schedule the work. The horse had to be returned in its 'original' condition.
                OP and leasee agreed on the procedure and, I assume the costs.

                The leasee was apparently well aware of the clause, the procedure that needed to be done and the related costs. If not, she should have asked.
                ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                Originally posted by LauraKY
                I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                HORSING mobile training app

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
                  Look at the elements in your Black's. It is an equitable theory based on the supposition that no one who benefits from the labor of another should be unjustly enriched thereby. If there were a valid contract, there would be no need for an equitable remedy.The elements are: (1) valuable service provided (2) to the person sought to be charged (3) which services were accepted by that person (4) under such circumstances as the person sought to be charged would have been reasonably notified that the person performing the services expected to be paid by the person sought to be charged.

                  I think that in the circumstances that were described by the OP, the owner is liable to the vet. The lessee may be liable to the owner. There is no way that the vet is bound to any contract between the owner and the lessee. If the vet had a contract with the lessee himself--well, that's a different story.
                  Unjust enrichment =/= quantum meruit.

                  Also, let's look at element four.
                  For two years I had a horse leased out in PA 1,500 miles away from where I was living in TX. That lessee was responsible for vet care. She made the appointments, she paid the bills.
                  NO WAY IN HAYULL would I have been "reasonably notified" that the vet (whose name I did not even know, appearing for appointments I was not remotely involved in) would be expected to be paid by me in the event she stiffed him or her, just on the basis that I happen to own the horse. If this lessee takes the horse to WEF and stiffs the braider do I owe the braider money too? What if she orders a custom cooler with his name on it and doesn't pay the Clothes Horse? They can come get the money from me now? Yes it is my horse but these deals with service providers she is making are between HER and her service providers. I do not grant a universal personal guarantee on every bill she incurs simply by owning the horse she is leasing.

                  Vet would have neither a "quantum meruit" or an "unjust enrichment" claim against me. The services provided were between vet and lessee. What the heck contract would I have with this random vet???
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                  • #49
                    Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post
                    This is the important quote, especially if this was per your contract!

                    No matter if the OP or the leasee schedule the work. The horse had to be returned in its 'original' condition.
                    OP and leasee agreed on the procedure and, I assume the costs.

                    The leasee was apparently well aware of the clause, the procedure that needed to be done and the related costs. If not, she should have asked.
                    Well yes. But if the OP made the appointment with the vet then the vet is not wrong to expect payment from the OP since the person leasing did not pay. The the OP can go after that person.

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                      Unjust enrichment =/= quantum meruit.

                      Also, let's look at element four.
                      For two years I had a horse leased out in PA 1,500 miles away from where I was living in TX. That lessee was responsible for vet care. She made the appointments, she paid the bills.
                      NO WAY IN HAYULL would I have been "reasonably notified" that the vet (whose name I did not even know, appearing for appointments I was not remotely involved in) would be expected to be paid by me in the event she stiffed him or her, just on the basis that I happen to own the horse. If this lessee takes the horse to WEF and stiffs the braider do I owe the braider money too? What if she orders a custom cooler with his name on it and doesn't pay the Clothes Horse? They can come get the money from me now? Yes it is my horse but these deals with service providers she is making are between HER and her service providers. I do not grant a universal personal guarantee on every bill she incurs simply by owning the horse she is leasing.

                      Vet would have neither a "quantum meruit" or an "unjust enrichment" claim against me. The services provided were between vet and lessee. What the heck contract would I have with this random vet???
                      On the definition, so you disagree with Black's Law Dictionary.

                      Otherwise, you are absolutely correct. Your case is not THIS case. Facts differ, so does the result. In this case, it sounds like the OP knew the vet, was involved in making the decision, spoke to the vet, and in fact may have scheduled the procedure. The vet knew who was the owner. The vet had no way to know that the lessee was supposed to be responsible. The vet is not bound to any contract between owner and lessee.
                      "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

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