Because breach of contract disputes interfere with productive activity and may even destabilize your company as a whole, it is essential to have a highly skilled business law attorney on board when dealing with such matters. If your business is on Long Island or in one of the five boroughs of New York City, we recommend that you turn to Kohan Law Group. Our accomplished law team has a well-earned reputation for powerful supportive counsel and successful litigation.
If you are facing a breach of contract dispute, now is the time to contact us for effective intervention. It is also wise to remember that we can help avoid situations like the one you are in now. Adept at crafting contracts that carefully delineate the rights and responsibilities of both parties and state clearly how such responsibilities will be enforced, we ensure that any written contracts we draft are detailed, exacting, and protective of your interests under New York State law.
Defining a Business Contract
A business contract is a legally binding promise between two or more business entities. It includes an offer, an acceptance of the offer, and a consideration. In this context, “consideration” means that each party must give and receive some benefit from the contract).
What constitutes a breach of contract in New York?
The four basic elements of a breach of contract in New York are:
- Existence of a valid contract as defined above.
- Performance or excuse for nonperformance. The party alleging the breach must have fulfilled their contractual obligations or have a valid legal excuse for not doing so to claim a breach by the other party.
- Breach of the contract, meaning that one party failed, without a legal excuse, to fulfill their contractual obligations. When a breach is significant (violating the essence of the contract), it is known as a material breach. An immaterial breach, on the other hand, is a minor violation of the agreement, not leading to any substantial loss.
- Damages resulting from the breach. The party alleging the breach must show that they have suffered a loss (typically a financial loss) as a direct result of the other party’s failure to uphold their contractual obligations.
In the vast majority of cases, the party alleging a breach of contract must prove all four elements of a material breach to recover damages.
Examples of Breaches of Contract
Either party may violate the contract by:
- Failing to deliver goods or services by the date specified in the contract
- Delivering goods or services of substandard quality
- Failing to pay promptly for goods or services received
- Failing to provide insurance as specified in the contract
- Unjustifiably cancelling without following agreed-upon protocol
- Violating non-compete clauses
- Violating confidentiality clauses
- Violating lease agreements (e.g. by failing to maintain the property or subletting without authorization)
As you can imagine, a phrase like “pay promptly” can be widely misinterpreted unless your contract has been drawn up by a meticulous contract attorney who knows that such documents must be specific. By paying close attention to details like this, our contract attorneys will prevent future breaches of contracts we draft.
Statute of Limitations for Breach of Contract Claims In New York
The statute of limitations for filing a breach of contract claim in New York is 6 years. Although this may seem like a long time, the statute applies from the date of the offense, not from the date of its discovery. It is wise to contact one of our experienced breach of contract attorneys as soon as it becomes apparent that your contract has been breached or there is any sign of possible trouble.
Damages That Can Be Recovered in a Breach of Contract Lawsuit
The purpose of filing a breach of contract lawsuit is to win damages to cover your business losses. The amount and type of damages will vary depending on the nature of the breach and the specific losses you have incurred. The damages you receive are intended to put you back in the position you would have been in if the breach had never occurred.
With one of our capable breach of contract attorneys at your side, you stand the best chance of recovering one or more of the following types of damages:
- Compensatory damages: for lost profits and other financial losses directly linked to the breach
- Consequential (special) damages: for losses that are a foreseeable consequence of the breach
- Liquidated damages: predetermined amounts included as a clause in the contract itself
- Punitive damages: rare, but possible if the breach involved egregious or malicious conduct
- Nominal damages: a small (symbolic) sum for cases in which the non-breaching party suffered a relatively insignificant loss
- Restitution: generally based on the benefit received by the breaching party, not the loss suffered by the non-breaching party
- Specific performance: in which a court orders the breaching party to fulfill their contractual obligations
- Attorney’s fees and court costs: which become the responsibility of the party who breached the contract, resulting in the lawsuit
Contact Our Experienced Contract Breach Attorneys Today
We are caring as well as competent business lawyers and will work tirelessly to bring you the justice you deserve, whether through astute negotiations or strategic litigation. Get in touch with us now to feel confident that you are in good, strong hands. We will provide you with the excellent legal representation you need and the personal attention you have every right to expect.