Breach of contract litigation is a frequent occurrence for businesses large and small. Contracts are the foundation of the business world. Without contracts, it would be practically impossible to reliably conduct business. When one party to a contract fails to fulfill its contractual obligations, this is called a breach of contract. When a breach of contract occurs, the non-breaching party may take the breaching party to court. In this article, we examine the different types of breach of contract litigation.
Anticipatory and Actual Breaches
Most contract breaches are either actual breaches or anticipatory breaches. An actual breach occurs when a contracting party fails to fulfill his or her contractual obligations or performs them incompletely. An anticipatory breach occurs when one party to a contract lets the other party know, prior to the due date for performance, that he or she doesn’t intend to fulfill his or her contractual obligations.
Minor and Material Breaches
Contract breaches can also be minor or material. A material breach occurs when one party delivers significantly less or provides a significantly different result than what was required in the contract. A minor breach, also known as a partial breach, occurs when one party substantially performs or meets a contract’s primary obligations but fails to meet a minor contractual requirement.
Common Breach of Contract Remedies
A non-breaching party has several possible remedies available when the other party breaches the contract. Common breach of contract remedies include:
Damages: The following types of damages may be available following a breach of contract:
- Compensatory damages, which provide compensation for actual or out-of-pocket business losses
- Consequential damages, which provide compensation for additional losses caused by the breach, such as lost income or revenue
- Attorneys’ fees and court costs
- Liquidated damages as detailed in the contract (usually in place of compensatory or consequential damages)
Recission: Recission occurs when the non-breaching party chooses to rescind or cancel the contract due to the other party’s breach. Recission seeks to restore the non-breaching party to his or her position as if the contract never existed. This usually means that the breaching party returns any money paid by the non-breaching party.
Specific performance: Although not as common as the remedies above, specific performance is a remedy in which the court forces a breaching party to perform its contractual obligations. Courts are usually reluctant to order specific performance, so it is usually only an option if monetary damages would be inadequate to fully compensate the non-breaching party.
Contact a Georgia Business Litigation Lawyer
If you are embroiled in a business dispute, you need an experienced Georgia business litigation attorney in your corner. At Griffin Durham Tanner & Clarkson, we have extensive experience helping clients with business disputes. When you come to us for help, our experienced business litigation attorneys will do everything in our power to ensure that you are justly compensated. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our talented attorneys.