What is the statute of limitations for an unjust-enrichment action?
Courts have held that a party may rescind a contract for fraud, incapacity, duress, undue influence, material breach in performance of a promise, or mistake, among other grounds. Ordinarily, to constitute a valid defense in an action for breach of contract the mistake must typically be a mutual one made by all of the parties to the contract. However, when the mistake is obvious from the face of the contract, knowledge of the mistake will be imputed to each party. In some cases, a court will allow a contract to be rescinded or reformed when the mistake is the result of a typographical error, but it will be a matter of subjective determination for the court, based on all the facts and circumstances involved, to determine whether to allow reformation or recission of a contract based on one party's miscalculation. It is possible that the court may determine that a mistake led to an unjust enrichment of a party. I am prohibited from giving legal advice, as this service provides information of a general nature. I suggest contacting a local attorney who can review all of the facts and documents involved.
Restitution is a remedy designed to restore the injured party to the position occupied prior to the formation of the contract. Parties seeking restitution may not request to be compensated for lost profits or other earnings caused by a breach. Instead, restitution aims at returning to the plaintiff any money or property given to the defendant under the contract. Plaintiffs typically seek restitution when contracts they have entered are voided by courts due to a defendant's incompetence or incapacity.
Rescission is the name for the remedy that terminates the contractual duties of both parties, while reformation is the name for the remedy that allows courts to change the substance of a contract to correct inequities that were suffered. In order to have a rescission, both parties to the contract must be placed in the position they occupied before the contract was made. Courts have held that a party may rescind a contract for fraud, incapacity, duress, undue influence, material breach in performance of a promise, or mistake, among other grounds. Specific performance is an equitable remedy that compels one party to perform, as nearly as practicable, his or her duties specified by the contract. Specific performance is available only when money damages are inadequate to compensate the plaintiff for the breach
Promissory estoppel is a term used in contract law that applies where, although there may not otherwise be an enforceable contract, because one party has relied on the promise of the other, it would be unfair not to enforce the agreement. Promissory estoppel arises from a promise which the promisor should reasonably expect to induce action or forebearance of a definite and substantial character on the part of the promisee and which does induce such action or forebearance in binding if injustice can be avoided only by enforcement of the promise.
Detrimental reliance is a term commonly used to force another to perform their obligations under a contract, using the theory of promissory estoppel. Promissory estoppel may apply when a promise was made; reliance on the promise was reasonable or foreseeable; there was actual and reasonable reliance on the promise; the reliance was detrimental; and injustice can only be prevented by enforcing the promise. Detrimental reliance must be shown to involve reliance that is reasonable, which is a determination made on an individual case-by-case basis, taking all factors into consideration. Detrimental means that some type of harm is suffered. Reasonable reliance is usually referred to as a theory of recovery in contract law. It was what a prudent person might believe and act upon based on something told by another. Sometimes a person acts in reliance on the promise of a profit or other benefit, only to learn that the statements or promises were either incorrect or were exaggerated. The one who acted to their detriment in reasonable reliance may recover damages for the costs of his/her actions or demand performance. Reasonable reliance connotes the use of the standard of ordinary and average person.
The following are MA statutes:
G.L.c. 260, § 2. Contract actions; actions upon judgments or decrees
of courts of record.
Section 2. Actions of contract, other than those to recover for
personal injuries, founded upon contracts or liabilities, express or
implied, except actions limited by section one or actions upon judgments
or decrees of courts of record of the United States or of this or
of any other state of the United States, shall, except as otherwise
provided, be commenced only within six years next after the cause of
G.L.c. 260, § 2A. Three years; actions of tort, contract to recover for
personal injuries and replevin.
Section 2A. Except as otherwise provided, actions of tort, actions
of contract to recover for personal injuries, and actions of replevin,
shall be commenced only within three years next after the cause of
G.L.c. 260, § 4. Certain tort or contract actions for malpractice,
error or mistake.
Section 4. Actions of contract or tort for malpractice, error or
mistake against attorneys, certified public accountants and public
accountants, actions for assault and battery, false imprisonment,
slander, libel, actions against sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, constables or
assignees in insolvency for the taking or conversion of personal
property, actions of tort for injuries to the person against counties,
cities and towns, and actions of contract or tort for malpractice, error
or mistake against hairdressers, operators and shops registered under
sections eighty-seven T to eighty-seven JJ, inclusive of chapter one
hundred and twelve, actions of tort for bodily injuries or for death the
payment of judgments in which is required to be secured by chapter ninety
and also actions of tort for bodily injuries or for death or for damage
to property against officers and employees of the commonwealth, and of
any county, city or town, arising out of the operation of motor or other
vehicles owned by the commonwealth, including those under the control of
said commission, or by any such county, city or town, suits by judgment
creditors in such actions of tort under section one hundred and thirteen
of chapter one hundred and seventy-five and clause (9) of section three
of chapter two hundred and fourteen and suits on motor vehicle liability
bonds under section thirty-four G of said chapter ninety shall be
commenced only within three years next after the cause of action
Actions of contract or tort for malpractice, error or mistake against
physicians, surgeons, dentists, optometrists, hospitals and sanitoria
shall be commenced only within three years after the cause of action
accrues, but in no event shall any such action be commenced more
than seven year after occurrence of the act or omission which is the
alleged cause of the injury upon which such action is based except
where the action is based upon the leaving of a foreign object in the
For the purposes only of this section, an officer or soldier of the
military forces of the commonwealth, as defined in chapter thirty-three,
shall while performing any lawfully ordered military duty be deemed to be
an officer or employee of the commonwealth.