SC Law Blog

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Deal or no Deal: Breach of Contract

At law, a valid contract contains an offer, an acceptance, mutual assent to the terms of the contract and valuable consideration. In the ideal, perfect world, a valid contract is formed and both parties perform their ends of the bargain and benefit from the bargain. Unfortunately, we live in the real world and contracts are often breached. A breach of contract can result from delays, financial problems, or even a change of heart.  A breach can occur when a party fails to perform on time, does not perform in accordance with the terms of the agreement or where a party does not perform at all. The law recognizes a remedy for this breach. Most commonly, a breach of contract will result in reformation of the contract so that the original terms of the agreement are carried out, restitution, so that the non-breaching party who has conferred a benefit to the breaching party may recover that benefit or money damages being awarded to the aggrieved party.  

Courts look to construe a breach of contract as either a material or minor breach. The legal remedy for the breach will depend upon whether the breach was classified as a minor or material breach. Suppose a homeowner contracts with a plumber to replace all the plumbing in her house and in the terms of the agreement she stipulates that the pipes that will be hidden behind the walls must be red. If the plumber instead uses blue plumbing, the court will construe his breach as a minor breach. As a result, the Court would probably deem monetary damages as the adequate remedy. But, here, it is unlikely that homeowner would recover monetary damages because the color has no value attached to it. Assume, in addition, the homeowner insisted the plumber use iron pipes instead of copper pipes. If the plumber uses copper instead that, in turn, won’t last as long as the iron pipes would, then he is in material breach of the contract. Here, the Court would probably deem that specific performance is the adequate remedy which would result in the plumber having to change the copper pipes to iron pipes.

If you have suffered pecuniary harm from a bad deal, then contact Daniel Selwa. You may have a breach of contract action and as a result you may recover monetary damages and/or other legal remedies. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this information. I found it very helpful. My business is involved in a commercial litigation suit because of a breach of contract. One of our clients refused to pay after services were rendered.