Vines v. Orchard Hills, Inc.

181 Conn. 501, 435 A.2d 1022 (1980)



The purchaser's right to recover in restitution requires him to establish that the seller has been unjustly enriched, and must show more than that the seller retains money paid under the contract. Only if the breaching party can prove that the innocent party has attained a net gain may a claim for unjust enrichment be sustained.


When buyers contracted to buy a condo, they gave a down payment that was considered to be liquidated damages by the contract. The buyers decided not to take the condo and filed suit to recover the down payment against the sellers. The Superior Court in the Judicial District of Fairfield sustained a judgment in favor of the buyers and the sellers appealed. The sellers contended that the trial court erred in disregarding the valid liquidated damages clause, their demurrer should have been granted, and there should have been a trial. 


Was it proper for the court to sustain a judgment for the buyers?




The court held that (1) the trial court improperly denied the demurrer; and (2) the trial court erred by sustaining the judgment because the evidence was insufficient. The judgment was set aside and the case was remanded.

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