Contracts are an integral part of conducting business. Having a comprehensive contract drafted, reviewed, and negotiated are key elements to building a strong foundation for your company.
However, even the most expertly drafted contracts cannot keep another party from breaching its terms, especially in today’s business climate. No matter whether you need a contract drafted or reviewed, or you need to pursue litigation against a party who breached an existing contract, you need the experience of a Connecticut contract law attorney.
At Stanger Stanfield Law, our Connecticut business law attorneys have years of experience handling all aspects of contract law matters. Disputes can happen for a variety of reasons in the business world, including everything from project delays to personality conflicts. Some disputes can be resolved, while others end up in a lawsuit and parties trying to resolve their issues in court.
What Happens When There is a Breach of Contract?
When a business contract is signed, there are obligations on both sides. If one side fails to meet their obligations, it can constitute a breach of contract. A variety of different actions — or inactions — can constitute a breach of contract.
Examples of breach of contract can include:
- Failure to pay the terms as agreed;
- Failure to perform the service contracted for as described in the agreement;
- Failure to perform the contracted services within the allotted timeframe; or
- One party’s interference with the other party’s ability to fulfill their side of the contract.
Once both sides have fulfilled their obligations as stated in the contract, the agreement is considered complete. However, it is not uncommon for businesses to run into issues with all sorts of contract types. A contract breach may be categorized as “breached in part,” or “breached in whole.”
In order for a breach of contract case to be successful, the plaintiff has to prove several different elements, including:
- The written contract must be a valid agreement and it needs to include the necessary elements like an offer, acceptance, and consent of both parties. Some verbal contracts may be able to stand up in court, but many other types of contracts must be in writing in order to be valid.
- The plaintiff must show how the defendant was in breach of the original agreement.
- The plaintiff also has to show proof that he or she kept all his or her requirements of the contract.
- The defendant must have received notice from the plaintiff that he or she was in breach.
Defending Against a Breach of Contract
In the event you are on the receiving end of a breach of contract lawsuit, don’t despair. There are defenses available in the event you are sued.
There are several different arguments available you can use to make your case, including:
- Both parties made mistakes regarding the contract in question.
- The contract is invalid because the plaintiff intentionally neglected to disclose pertinent information.
- The contract is invalid because the plaintiff made a false statement.
- The statute of limitations for filing an action for breach of contract has elapsed.
- The defendant was coerced into signing the contract by use of physical force or threats, or undue influence of the plaintiff.
How to Resolve a Breach of Contract Dispute
In certain situations, you may be able to resolve a breach of contract dispute using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options like mediation or arbitration.
If attempts at negotiations fail, then your option is to proceed with litigation. If you file a lawsuit for a breach of contract, there are several different types of remedies that may be available depending on the circumstances of the case.
These potential remedies include:
- A monetary award for damages, which may include an award for punitive damages in some cases. Additionally, a court may decide to issue a nominal damages award when the plaintiff proved there was a breach, but there was no monetary loss or liquidated damages under the contract terms.
- The court may cancel the contract and allow the plaintiff to file a lawsuit for restitution if the defendant received some benefit from the contract. Another option is to allow the plaintiff to sue for restoration to the condition prior to the contract.
- In situations where the contract is unique and a monetary award will not make the plaintiff whole again, the court may elect to issue a specific performance award. This is a requirement that the defendant honor the terms of the contract.
Contact a Connecticut Contract Law Attorney Today
If you need assistance with any aspect of contract law in Connecticut, it’s helpful to work with an experienced business law attorney.
Contact Stanger Stanfield Law today to schedule an initial consultation to learn how we can help.