There is always an element of trust when you enter into a business deal. Maybe a new client has hired you for a big job, and you don’t know his or her work payment history, and your payment never comes. Or maybe you are the company owner who is hiring a contractor to do work that was not performed but the contractor was expected to be paid immediately.So someone broke their word, and it is impacting your bottom line and ability to conduct business. One of the most commonly heard cases in small claims courts around the country are for Breach of Contract.
A ‘breach’ is a broken promise made to the other person or company, without any justifiable or lawful excuse. The other entity has refused to uphold their end of the deal, and it can have devastating financial implications for your business if not handled well, which is why partnering with Hackler Flynn & Associates is so vital. Fighting a breach of contract can sap your business of time and money. There is also the frustration factor that can affect many business owners, and keep them away from their main objective: gathering more business. That’s why at Hackler Flynn, we are poised to be your advocates in fighting any breach of contract.
Tell Me More About Different Kinds of Breaches
There are different kinds of broken promises that can lead to lawsuits.
- Material breach: Say you have a client who places a huge order with your company. You buy the inventory, and deliver it to the customer, only to be shunned when it is time for them to pay you for your supplies and services. This is one of the most serious breaches of contract in law, and allows the injured party to seek damages in court.
- Fundamental breach: This kind of breach of contract often ends up in court. It happens when someone has signed a contract, and the other party chooses not to honor it. Maybe you have signed a contract for a large delivery, and at the last minute, the company decides they don’t want it, but you are out financially. Another example is a business owner, who signs a rental agreement for space, only to discover that the space had been rented out from underneath them.
- Anticipatory breach: Let’s say you are moving into a new office space, and you have contracted with a construction company to make some adjustments like new paint, new carpet, and a few walls moved about. The construction company promised the work would be done by June 1, but despite repeated calls, the company has been dragging its paint rollers and you haven’t seen construction workers anywhere near your place. When there is no way the company could get its job done in time, it can be considered an anticipatory breach.
- Minor breach: this is when something isn’t done as stated in the contract. It is when someone technically finishes the job, but there are problems with it. So you can’t sue for actual performance of the job, but you can sue for monetary damages, or force them to correct the errors.
The problem arises when the contract is not written down, which is so often the case. Verbal or implied agreements sometimes don’t end up well in court. Here’s what a judge would want to know:
- Did you have a written contract?
- I need to see it.
- Was the contract broken?
- Were you harmed financially because the contract was broken?
- Was the other party responsible for the contract being broken?
If you have entered into a contract which has been breached, there are various damages to which you may be entitled:
- Compensatory damages to reimburse costs and compensate for financial losses.
- Consequential damages if all parties knew of potential losses in case of a breach.
- Liquidated damages are monetary damages set out in the contract beforehand.
- Punitive damages consist of money given to a claimant as retribution for violating the contract.
- Attorney’s fees may be recovered when the judge rules in your favor.
Sometimes, you can find the remedy for a breach of contract within the contract itself. It is wise for you to consult legal counsel so you can work together to find the best solution in order to avoid time spent in front of a judge. At Hackler Flynn & Associates, we know your rights and legal remedies. Contact us so our energetic team can assist you in working through the breach of contract maze!
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