Material Breach of Contract

In this section, our Orlando breach of contract attorneys give answers to some trending topics in contract law.  First, we look at what is a breach of contract? Next, we discuss what is a material breach of contract versus a non-material breach of contract.  Not every breach of a contract will give rise to a lawsuit or other legal action.  then, we move onto anticipatory breach of contract (or anticipatory repudiation of contract), in which one party can snub her nose at the other and not perform under the contract.  Finally, we discuss the specifics of an Orlando breach of contract complaint and the basic process the attorney goes through to start the litigation process.

What Is a Breach of Contract?

In general, a breach of contract occurs when one party to the contract fails to perform, or refuses to perform, any act or promise that forms part of the contract, without a valid legal excuse.  Some examples of breach of contract from our Orlando breach of contract attorney include:

  • one party failing to pay the contract price in full or on time,
  • when a party fails to deliver goods or services as promised,
  • when a party delivers goods or services of inferior quality, or
  • interfering with the other party’s performance of the contract.

Bear in mind that there are many, many different acts or omissions that can constitute a breach of contract so consult an attorney.

Material Breach of Contract and Non-Material Breach of Contract

When a person or company breaches a contract, the breach can be either a “material breach of contract” or a “non-material breach of contract.”  A non-material breach is a minor breach.  In Orlando, Florida, a breach of contract is material if it “goes to the essence of the contract,” meaning the breach is central to the purpose of the contract.  Additionally, a material breach of contract is so serious that when one party commits a material breach, the other party is immediately discharged (or relieved) from performing its duties under the contract and their lawyer may sue for breach of contract.

For example, if a contractor hires a subcontractor to install a roof on a home, then the subcontractor defectivcely installs the roof so that it leaks like a sieve, the subcontractor has committed a material breach of contract.  The contractor is relieved of its contractual duty to pay the subcontractor for the defective work and its attorney may sue for breach of contract.   On the other hand, if the breach is non-material the non-breaching party is NOT entitled to discharge their contractual duties and must still render performance (although their lawyer may still sue for damages).   In this same example, if the subcontractor finishes the roof job one day later than agreed to, but the work is done properly, this would be a non-material breach and the contractor would have to pay the subcontractor according to the contract. It’s important to consult with an Orlando breach of contract attorney to make sure you know the difference between a material breach of contract and a non-material breach.

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