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Idaho Supreme Court Upholds Damages Award For Architectural Services Rendered Without A Written Contract

Posted in Idaho

Farrell v. Whiteman, 152 Idaho 190, 268 P.3d 458 (2012)

Damien Farrell, an architect originally licensed only in Michigan, brought suit against developer, Kent Whiteman, for uncompensated architectural services rendered for Whiteman’s condominium project.  Whiteman counterclaimed, arguing that Farrell was not entitled to compensation because some of the services rendered were rendered before Farrell obtained his architectural license in the State of Idaho and because some of the services rendered were provided without a written contract.

The District Court found that an implied in fact contract existed between the parties and awarded Farrell damages on the theory of quantum meruit for services rendered after obtaining his Idaho license, and unjust enrichment damages for services rendered before obtaining his license. Whiteman appealed.

Upon review, the Supreme Court of Idaho upheld the district court’s decision, including consideration of the speed and quality of Farrell’s work, in determining the amount of damages to award under the quantum meruit theory.  The Court also awarded Farrell his attorney fees.