Breach of Contract
Breach of Contract is a business tort where one party, who signed a contract, did not complete their obligation.
Most contract breaches are easy to identify. A contract is breached when a signatory, did not fulfill their duty as specified in the contract document. Therefore they breached the obligation of the contract. It is more difficult to determine the next two steps: whether the breach was material, and if it was material, what were the damages that resulted from the breach. For you to win, the contract must be a valid contract at law, the breach must be material, and the damages must be able to be determined with substantial certainty.
The value of your case will be determined by the value of the material breach that can be proved to this “substantial certainty” standard.
If we are representing you in a breach of contract action, we must prove the standard set forth in the Restatement (Second) of Contracts. More specifically, the section to determine whether a specific failure constitutes a breach:
In determining whether a failure to render or to offer performance is material, the following circumstances are significant: (a) the extent to which the injured party will be deprived of the benefit which he reasonably expected; (b) the extent to which the injured party can be adequately compensated for the part of that benefit of which he will be deprived; (c) the extent to which the party failing to perform or to offer to perform will suffer forfeiture; (d) the likelihood that the party failing to perform or to offer to perform will cure his failure, taking account of all the circumstances including any reasonable assurances; (e) the extent to which the behavior of the party failing to perform or to offer to perform comports with standards of good faith and fair dealing.
American Law Institute, Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 241 (1981).
To make it simple:
1. Were you deprived of a benefit under the contract?
2. Does this benefit have a ascertainable monetary value?
3. How much it harms the party that failed to perform. The harm must be manageable to the breaching party.
4. If the breaching party can remedy their failure
5. The extent that the breach party attempted to perform and execute fairly.
Photo Courtesy of Wertz Sebastien