If a contract has been drawn up by two parties, it is an explicit agreement by both parties to hold up their end of the bargain. For example, if you agree to purchase products from a business, you are expected to pay for those products, and the business is expected to provide you with the products you purchased. If one party does not hold up their end of the bargain, a breach-of-contract case could arise.
Breach of contract cases are not that uncommon, as circumstances can change quickly. Therefore, one party might find that they are no longer able to uphold their end of the bargain, but they could still be facing a serious breach of contract situation. There are several elements of a breach-of-contract case that have to be demonstrated for the case to be proven. What breach of contract elements must be present?
For a breach-of-contract case to be proven, the first element must include a contract. If there is no valid contract, no breach of contract case can move forward. Even though this might sound obvious, that is not always the case. There are plenty of examples where people believe they have a verbal contract, where both parties have verbally agreed to do something. If there is no contract on paper, it is much harder to prove that a contract exists.
Furthermore, even if there is a contract on paper, it will be the responsibility of the court to make sure the contract is legally enforceable. For example, if someone leaves their job, they might be limited by a non-compete clause. For example, if a doctor leaves a practice, he or she might not be allowed to open a practice too close to his or her old office. There are some situations where a non-compete clause might not be enforceable, which could sink the breach of contract case. It is important to work with an attorney who has experience in this area and can make sure the contract exists and is legally enforceable.
Next, the plaintiff filing a lawsuit for a breach-of-contract case has to show that he or she fulfilled his or her end of the contract. Even if the other party has not completed his or her part of the contract, there cannot be a breach of contract case if the plaintiff did not complete his or her part of the contract. For example, if someone is claiming that a company is in breach of contract for not completing their products or services, the plaintiff has to show that he or she already paid for those products and services. Otherwise, the defendant should not be held responsible for failing to fulfill the contract, as the plaintiff did not do what he or she said he or she would do.
There are specific situations where a plaintiff may have a justification for non-performance of his or her part of the contract. This is handled on a case-by-case basis, and it is important to work with a lawyer who has experience in this area and can make sure the case is approached fairly.
After this, the plaintiff has to show that the defendant did not hold up his or her end of the bargain. The contract clearly states what the defendant was supposed to do. It is the responsibility of the plaintiff to show that the defendant did not do that. For example, if the plaintiff is filing a lawsuit because the defendant failed to complete an adequate roofing job on his or her house, the plaintiff has to show why the defendant did not uphold his or her end of the bargain. There has to be evidence that the roofing job was inadequate or not otherwise completed.
Finally, the plaintiff also has to show that he or she was harmed as a result of the non-fulfillment of the contract. If the defendant did not uphold his or her end of the bargain, but the plaintiff did not suffer any damages, then the breach-of-contract case cannot move forward.
For example, if the plaintiff is claiming that the defendant failed to provide him or her with inventory, and the plaintiff was not able to fulfill the orders of his or her clients, this is a clear demonstration that the plaintiff was harmed. The plaintiff has to document everything that happens, and the plaintiff has to show the court that the damages deserve to be compensated. The plaintiff also has to show that the damages he or she suffered stem directly from the defendant's failure to fulfill the contract. The defendant may have suffered damages, but if they cannot be directly linked to the breach of contract situation, then the case may not move forward.
There are situations where the defendant may seek to invoke a force majeure clause. What this means is that the defendant was unable to fulfill the contract because of circumstances that were previously unforeseen. The defendant also has to show that a reasonable person would not have foreseen the circumstances that arose. In addition, the contract has to have a force majeure clause in it. Not all contracts include this clause.
One of the most common situations where a force majeure clause has been invoked is during the coronavirus pandemic. There are a lot of businesses that have been unable to fulfill their contracts because of the coronavirus pandemic. If the contract has a force majeure clause in it, they might be able to use this as a justification for not fulfilling the contract. This is a situation that is handled on a case-by-case basis, and it must be litigated by strong attorneys.
A breach-of-contract case is always serious, and the penalties can be significant. If you believe someone else is in breach of contract, or if you have been accused of breaching your contract, it is critical to work with Florida breach of contract attorneys who can make sure your rights are protected.
At Aaron Delgado and Associates, it would be our pleasure to represent you and make sure your rights are defended. We always place the best interests of our clients first, and we will do the same for you. You need an objective professional who can evaluate your case and make sure your side is hurting. Contact us today for a case consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.