The Colorado Court of Appeals (2022COA50) recognized an equitable principle that allows for recovery under a theory of unjust enrichment despite there being an express contract between the parties. The case involved a contract for the installation of siding on a home. The siding company did not complete the project in a timely manner, leading the homeowner to terminate the contract before all of the siding could be installed. The trial court found that the siding company had breached the contract by taking too long to install the siding, thus giving the homeowner the right to terminate the contract.
The question for the Court of Appeals was whether the siding company could still recover on a theory of unjust enrichment for the work it had completed, even though there was an express contract for the work and the siding company had breached the contract. The Court of Appeals relied primarily on Restatement (Third) of Restitution § 36. The Court of Appeals held that “where a contract exists, absent a provision explicitly addressing remedies with respect to the default at issue, a party that breaches the contract may nonetheless recover for the other party’s unjust enrichment.”