A breach of contract in Florida occurs when one party fails to perform one or more stipulations of a contract. This may include failure to deliver goods, substituting inferior goods for those promised, failure to pay on time, not completing a job, and more.
When a breach of contract has occurred, there are four things a Florida breach of contract attorney will determine when this situation occurs:
- Was the performance in question required by the contract?
- Was the contract breached according to Florida law?
- To what extent was the contract breached?
- Was the performance excused?
Determining the answers to these questions is made more difficult because contracts often fail to specify the consequences of a breach. This is just the beginning of how a breach of contract attorney can assist you, shall such a situation occur.
Material v. Non-material Breach
Not all breaches are equally serious; they can range from minor breaches to breaches so extreme that they deprive the other party of everything promised to them in the contract. Therefore, the legal consequences of a breach of contract are dependent on the extent to which the contract was breached.
There are two different forms of a breach of contract: a material breach and a non-material breach. A material breach of contract occurs when the breach is significant enough to destroy the integrity of a contract. When this occurs, the injured party is no long obligated to by the contract, may cancel the contract, and may sue for damages for total breach of contract.
A non-material breach occurs when the breach of contract is not serious enough to be considered a material breach, and the aggrieved party can only sue for damages incurred. Once the breach is remedied, the injured party must still perform his obligations of the contract, minus any damages caused by the breach of contract.
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 the Florida 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).