Tuesday, November 30, 2010
There's a nice little classroom hypothetical brewing over in Germany, where a man paid the equivalent of £3700 for his girlfriend's breast augmentation surgery, in exchange for her agreement to "stay with him at least a year." They broke up soon after, and the man wants his money back. The ex-girlfriend (no, that's not her at the left, it's just a pretty cool ad) apparently doesn't have it.
Setting aside the questions whether the contract for cohabitation would be void as against public policy, or whether unjust enrichment or reliance might be available to ground a cause of action, there are some interesting issues with respect to remedies. Would the girlfriend's promise be enforceable by specific performance? We all know that SP is a much more common remedy in Germany than in the U.S., but would it be available for this type of -- um, "personal services"? And since the man paid for the implants, does he have a security interest in the goods? That's significant because he's apparently threatening to repossess them.