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Remedies for unjust enrichment: What can your business expect?

On Behalf of | Oct 24, 2023 | Business Law

Picture this: Your small business, a quaint hardware store, recently partnered with a local supplier. You have had a solid, mutually beneficial arrangement for years. But one day, you discover that the supplier has been paying their invoices, quietly pocketing extra cash from your purchases. Unjust enrichment is at play here. But you might want to know what remedies your business can expect to rectify this.

What to expect?

Unjust enrichment, a legal concept that might seem complex, has tangible implications for businesses. But here are some potential remedies your business can expect when you have proven unjust enrichment:

  • Restitution: In straightforward terms, it is like pressing rewind. It ensures that your supplier returns the extra funds they wrongfully gained. Think of it as getting back the money you should never have paid. Restitution helps your business keep a level playing field and recover what is rightfully yours.
  • Disgorgement: Disgorgement means returning ill-gotten profits. In your case, the supplier must give back extra profits obtained through deceptive billing. This is vital because it prevents your business from suffering due to unethical actions, ending the unfair advantage and avoiding monetary loss.
  • Constructive trusts: A court can establish a constructive trust if you are able to prove unjust enrichment. They will hold the assets or property until you get them back. The specific process of returning the asset will depend on the details of the case and the court’s decisions, but the fundamental aim is to rectify the imbalance created by unjust enrichment and restore equity to the situation.

These are just some mechanisms that rectify imbalances in unjust enrichment cases.

Timely action is the backbone of your claim

If unjust enrichment occurs, it is important to act swiftly. The statute of limitations sets a time frame during which you can bring a claim. If you wait too long, your right to seek restitution or other remedies could vanish.

The statute of limitations ensures that disputes are resolved within a reasonable time frame. However, the limit can vary depending on your case’s specific circumstances and location. Some cases may have a shorter time limit than others. That is why consulting with a business lawyer who understands these nuances is crucial.

This can happen to anyone

Unjust enrichment can happen to any business, like your local hardware store. Understanding the remedies and recognizing the statute of limitations can help level the playing field and make sure your business gets back what it rightfully deserves.

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