Skip to main content

In a Breach of Contract matter where there may also be fraudulent inducement into the contract and unjust enrichment, how do I..

Littleton, CO |

This is an at-will employment contract that contains a nocompete clause. Employer made written promises that I would be paid commissions and bonuses. The employer breach those promises. I believe I was fraudulently induced into the at-will employment contract because the employer never had any intention of fulfilling the promises. In the alternative, the employer has been unjustly enriched by my services.

My question is: I understand that I cannot receive damages for both Breach of Contract and Unjust Enrichment for the same unlawful act - When filing these claims, do I state 3 separate claims (Breach of Contract, Fraudulent Inducement, and Unjust Enrichment)? Or, do I state this as one claim, stating the facts and claims, "In the Alternative."

+ Read More

Attorney answers 4


If you are acting as your own attorney, you will have to decide how you want to structure your complaint. There are may ways to write the complaint. Note that your unjust enrichment claim not only requires you to be attempting to collect damages different from the contract claim (to avoid double recovery) but your recovery is likely limited to the amount of provable enrichment. In other words, you will have to prove exactly how much extra profit the doctor made as a result of your services vs. not having hired you. That may not be very easy to show. Perhaps the appropriate alternative equitable claim would actually be quantum meruit - where you seek compensation for the expected value of your services rather than the amount your services enriched the opposing party.

It sounds like you are embarking on complex District Court level litigation. It is not likely something you have an easy time handling on your own. Medical patients are physically capable of performing most medical treatment, but the experience and knowledge of doctors and nurses makes them much better at it. The same is true in the law. If there is a significant amount at stake, then you really need to retain a professional.

You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC by phone or email. Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.


In addition to the comments of my colleague, you are also missing the significance of the economic loss rule. Finally, you need to be careful of any exemplary claims. As noted by my colleague, you need legal advice. Good luck.

This answer is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice regarding your question and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Stephen Clark Harkess

Stephen Clark Harkess


"The economic loss doctrine precludes parties to a contract from bringing tort claims to recover purely economic or commercial losses associated with their contractual relationship. The parties are thus limited to their contractual remedies. "


Mr. Harkess' comments are thoughtful and thorough. Whether your articulated damages are large or small, proceeding through a litigation disposition without the assistance of qualified counsel will likely not inure to your benefit. Even if the facts are clear and compelling such that an award of damages is deemed appropriate, how you prove those damages requires a fundamental understanding of the viable options available to you and that can be proved in a way that will garner to your favor. It is not possible for any attorney to provide advice on your legal strategy without conducting an appropriate review of the matter, so I cannot comment on the initial call of your question regarding stating of claims sequentially and/or in the alternative. Best of luck to you.

All communications are provided for general informational purposes only, may not be applicable to your specific set of facts, and do not constitute legal advice or a legal opinion, or form an attorney-client relationship. You should not act or rely on any information provided through this website or the Internet in general without first obtaining legal advice from an attorney specifically hired to represent you on a given matter. For more information, go to


I agree with my colleagues comments regarding the wisdom of hiring counsel to pursue this matter for you. But I would also like to address the substance of your question.

Mr. Harkess is correct that drafting a complain can vary greatly, and indeed constitutes an form of art. I cannot tell you how you should do it outside the attorney-client relationship, which we do not enjoy on this forum. Yet, I can tell you to make sure you look at Rule 8 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, which governs how to draft a pleading/complaint. The rule expressly allows you to plead different legal theories of recovery in the alternative, even if they seek the same monetary recovery.

I sincerely hope that you decide to set up a few consultations to help you determine if legal representation would be beneficial for you.

I hope this answer provided some helpful guidance.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer