Axenics, Inc. v. Turner Construction Co.Annotate this Case
Defendants Stryker Biotech, LLC, Stryker Sales Corporation (collectively Stryker) and Turner Construction Company, appealed a superior court ruling which found them liable on a theory of unjust enrichment and awarded damages to the plaintiff, Axenics, Inc. f/k/a RenTec Corporation. Axenics cross-appealed, challenging the amount of damages awarded and the trial court's failure to find the defendants liable on its breach of contract and New Hampshire Consumer Protection Act (CPA) claims. This case arose from the construction of a biotech facility for Stryker for which Turner served as the general contractor. Axenics subcontracted with Turner to furnish labor, materials, equipment, and services for the installation of "process pipe" at the facility. A dispute arose when Axenics notified Turner of additional change orders related to delays and work that it believed to be outside the scope of the contract. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that the subcontract addressed the subject matter of Axenics' unjust enrichment claim. The Court reversed the trial court's decision finding Turner liable to Axenics on its theory of unjust enrichment. Furthermore, the Court found no evidence that Stryker accepted a benefit that would be unconscionable to retain. Therefore the Court held that the trial court erred in allowing Axenics to recover against Stryker under a theory of unjust enrichment. The Court found that an internal memorandum was admitted into evidence in error; the trial court erred in relying upon it in assessing damages. The Court affirmed the trial court's decision with respect to Axenics' CPA claims. The case was ultimately affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings.