Key Practice Areas
Evicted From House After Working for 13 years for No Wages? No Way!
Type of Case: Deceased Estate Litigation – Breach of Contract and Equitable Estoppel
The Situation: Joe and Mika knew each other in Sydney. Mika and his wife, Jan, moved to Queensland. Mika contacted Joe and invited Joe to come and work for Mika. Mika said that he would not pay Joe a wage, but he would give Joe a house to live in. Joe and his family moved to Queensland and lived in a house owned by Jan, with a promise that the house would one day be transferred to Joe. There was no written agreement. Joe worked for Mika and Jan for about 13 years, with no wages, no annual leave, and no superannuation, working usually 7 days per week looking after Mika’s horses and doing other work as requested by Mika and Jan. Mika died. Jan then sacked Joe and tried to evict Joe and his family from the house. Quinn & Scattini acted on a “no win, no fee” basis.
The Result: A win for Quinn & Scattini’s client. The case went to trial in the Supreme Court, with Jan refusing to negotiate at all until the second day of trial when the case was settled out of court on the basis that Joe and his family would continue living in the house until the house was sold, and that Joe and Jan would then split the proceeds of sale of the house. A great result, especially considering that Joe never had a written agreement.
* Names have been changed for confidentiality. However, some cases appear on public records such as court reports on the internet. As every case is different, the cases reported here cannot be taken as an indication of a similar outcome being likely in your case, and these reports are not to be taken as legal advice about your particular situation.