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What Do I Need to Prove to Succeed in a Breach of Contract Claim?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2024 | Business Law |

Proving the essentials of a breach of contract claim is crucial for any Frankfort business owner who needs to make things right after another party’s damaging actions. Here’s what you need to prove to ensure success in a breach of contract case.

Elements of a valid breach of contract claim

To establish a breach of contract in court, it’s imperative to demonstrate these three core elements:

  • Existence of a valid contract: A legally binding contract must be proven to exist. This means the agreement should have clear terms, mutual assent, and consideration. It should comply with both Kentucky state laws and broader legal principles. A written and signed contract is usually the strongest proof that an agreement existed, though an oral contract can be enforced too.
  • Breach: A breach occurs when one party does not honor a term of the contract. This could be a failure to perform on time, a complete failure to perform, or performance that does not meet the agreed-upon terms. The breach must be material, meaning significant, for the claim to succeed.
  • Damages suffered: Proving that a breach occurred is not enough for the plaintiff to win at trial. They must show that they suffered damages like financial losses or other forms of harm directly resulting from the breach.

For example, let’s say a clothing supplier contracts with a retail store to deliver 100 blue T-shirts by April 1. If the delivery does not arrive until April 21, that could be a breach of contract. It could also be a breach if the delivery contains towels instead of T-shirts, or if the supplier never sends anything at all. The store would lose out on potential revenue from T-shirt sales, for which they could seek compensation from the supplier.

Remedies for a contract breach

When a breach is established, various remedies are available:

  • Damages may be awarded to place the non-breaching party in the financial position they would have been in if the breach had not occurred. This is the most common remedy sought in breach of contract lawsuits.
  • Specific performance may be ordered, compelling the breaching party to fulfill their contractual obligations.
  • Cancellation and restitution might be pursued to return the non-breaching party to their original position prior to the breach, effectively canceling the contract.

Consult with a business litigation attorney

Every breach of contract claim is unique, and the nuances of the law can be complex. It is wise to seek the counsel of a seasoned business litigation attorney to discuss the specifics of your case.