Case analysis of georgia malone and company


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Georgia Malone & Company, Inc. v. Ralph Rieder et al., 86 A.D.3d 406 (2011).

Facts: Georgia Malone Company (MaloneCo) was a real estate brokerage firm that entered into a Confidentiaty Agreement with CenterRock Realty, LLC (CenterRock) related to CenterRock's potential purchase of a group of buildings in midtown Manhattan. Rieder was the managing member of CenterRock. The agreement required CenterRock to treat all information provided to it by MaloneCo (e.g., financial projections, property conditions, etc) as confidential and to pay MaloneCo a commission fee in the event that CenterRock purchased the property. After considering the confidential information provided by MaloneCo, CenterRock entered into a contract for the sale of the property. Part of the agreement allowed CenterRock to terminate the transaction during their due diligence (inspection) period. On the last day of the due diligence period, CenterRock terminated the transaction. Ultimately, the property was sold to another party through Rosewood Realty Group (Rosewood), one of MaloneCo.'s competitors, and MaloneCo received no commission.

Issue: Is MaloneCo. entitled to damages under a quasi-contract theory of unjust enrichment?
Ruling: Yes. The court held that an unjust enrichment claim is intended to prevent one party from unjustly profiting at the expense of another party. In this case, the confidential information provided to CenterRock's principals was part of a sales transaction that ultimately cheated MaloneCo out of their commission.

Case Questions:

1. Was MaloneCo justified in relying on Ralph's assurances that CenterRock was continuing to pursue the original contract?

2. The court requires a connection or relationship for quasi-contract claim. How close a connection or relationship must be shown?

3. The court described a quasi-contract as "an obligation imposed by equity to prevent injustice." Explain how equity applies to quasi-contracts.

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