A breach of contract is a failure, without legal excuse, to perform any promise that forms all or part of the contract. This includes failure to perform in a manner that meets the standards of the industry or the requirements of any express warranty or implied warranty, including the implied warranty of merchantability. A breach of contract might occur when a co-worker refuses to complete her portion of a job, or when an employee does something prohibited by his job contract, or when a customer prevents the contractor from satisfying the obligation or finishing the project at hand.
Under contract law, the breach of contract can be categorized as material or immaterial, depending on the type of damages the at-fault party has caused. A material or total breach occurs when the duty not performed is so essential that the main purpose of the contract cannot be fulfilled. An immaterial, or partial breach occurs when the majority of the duties specified in the contract have still been performed. You can still seek damages after a partial breach, but you cannot terminate the contract.
Regardless of the type of contract breach, you need to establish a few facts to build a credible case should you take the breach to court, and this can get tricky, especially if the contract was verbal or implied. In most breach of contract cases, you must verify that:
- The contract existed
- The contract was breached
- You lost money
- The other party was responsible
McKay Law handles all types of contract disputes. We can help you by reviewing your contract and determining what rights, obligations, defenses, or remedies you may have.
Remedies for Breach of Contract
If a breach of contract occurs, then the injured party may be offered a remedy in the form of legal remedies, or money damages, equitable remedies, or restitution by Arizona courts. Legal remedies are limited by certain principles, and certain damages are awarded only in specific situations. Equitable remedies can be awarded alone or alongside legal remedies. They may include a specific performance requirement, injunction, or restitution. Restitution is when the offending party must provide the injured party with the exact property given to him by the plaintiff (specific restitution) or a sum of money that reflects the extent to which the breach has injured him (substitutionary restitution).
Having an experienced lawyer evaluate your breach of contract claim is imperative because not all breaches are the same. McKay Law can address your concerns, and help you with your case. Contact our office today at 480-681-7000 for a free consultation.