Breach of Contract FAQs
At Purcell, Flanagan, Hay & Greene, our business litigation attorneys assist companies and individuals in effectively and efficiently resolving various legal conflicts. One of the most common conflicts facing businesses is claims of breach of contracts.
Contracts play a crucial role in the operations of every successful business and provide certainty and stability to company dealings. They help facilitate relationships, minimize risks, and protect business interests, but as crucial as they are, often parties fail to perform their obligations, which results in a breach of contract.
Why does a breach of contract happen?
A breach of contract might stem from any reason, but some of the most common include miscommunication, competing interpretations, one party’s failure to perform, unethical conduct, breach of trust, changes in circumstances, or even unforeseen events (like, for example, the COVID-19 pandemic).
What are the consequences of a breach of contract?
The consequences of a breach of contract often depend on the terms outlined within the contract itself, but often include:
- Financial damages – The non-breaching party may be entitled to recover monetary losses caused by the breach.
- Specific performance – In some cases, the court may order the breaching party to fulfill their obligations under the contract.
- Termination of contract – The non-breaching party may choose to terminate the agreement if the breach is material and substantial.
- Damages for loss of reputation or goodwill – If the breach has affected the non-breaching party’s reputation or goodwill, they may be entitled to compensation.
How do you prove a breach of contract?
The following elements must be established to prove a breach of contract:
- Existence of a contract – A valid and enforceable contract must exist between the parties involved.
- Performance of obligations – The non-breaching party must have fulfilled their obligations under the contract.
- Breach of contract by the other party – The other party must have failed to perform their obligations under the contract.
- Causation – The breach must have caused actual harm or damages to the non-breaching party.
- Damages – The non-breaching party must have suffered quantifiable monetary losses as a result of the breach.
In order to prove or disprove a breach of contract, it may be necessary to present evidence such as the contract itself, witness testimony, emails, invoices, or any other relevant documents. A business litigation attorney at Purcell, Flanagan, Hay & Greene can help assess the evidence and build a case for a breach of contract or a strong defense to a breach of contract claim.
What is an anticipatory breach of contract?
An anticipatory breach of contract occurs when one party communicates an intention to not perform their obligations under the contract before the performance is due.
What is a material breach of contract?
A material breach of contract is a serious breach that goes to the heart of the agreement and affects the value of the contract to the other party.
Can a party be held responsible for a breach of contract if they did not intend to breach the contract?
Yes, a party can be held responsible for a breach of contract even if that was not their intention. Intent is not always a necessary element in proving a breach of contract.