District Judge Denise L. Cote


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Chernov and Kirkland operate the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet Inc. (GKA). In 2011 they orally offered to employ Russian citizen Rapay to design costumes and sets for GKA’s upcoming production of ‘The Nutcracker.” Although Rapay claimed she was to be compensated “at a rate commensurate with her experience” ranging between $40,000 and $75,000 annually, Chernov’s March 2013 email stated Rapay would be employed for $25,000. Chernov’s June 17, 2013 email terminated Rapay’s employment. Rapay’s June 24, 2106 lawsuit sought recovery of unpaid compensation under contract and quasi-contract theories. The court dismissed contract breach and quasi-contract claims against Chernov and Kirkland because Rapay’s amended complaint did not include facts suggesting they engaged in tortious conduct or intended to bind themselves individually under the contract. Only Rapay’s unjust enrichment, quantum meruit and promissory estoppel claims against GKA survived dismissal. The oral contract between Rapay and GKA was not void under the statute of frauds, Rapay’s contract breach claim was dismissed due to indefinite price terms insufficient to allege a meeting of the minds over her compensation.