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What Are the Remedies for Breach of Contract?

What are the Remedies for Breach of Contract?

Breach of contract disputes happen every day in Southern California.  If you’ve been harmed by another’s failure to uphold their legal obligation, you may have recourse.  First, it’s necessary to determine whether the breach of contract constitutes a partial breach of contract, or a total breach of contract.

What is a Breach of Contract?

In California, a breach of contract occurs when one party to the contract fails to fulfill a legal duty the contract created. A contract is a legally binding promise made between parties, whereby each party agrees to perform a specific duty, or agrees to pay a certain amount of money for items, or services provided.  The purpose of a contract is to ensure that each party that enters into the contract has legal recourse in the event that the terms of the contract are not upheld.

Material and Non-Material Breach of Contract

A breach of contract may be deemed a total breach or a partial breach.  A total breach of contract means that the fundamental purpose of the agreement cannot or was not fulfilled.  Also known as a material breach of contract, this refers to instances where the breach is so severe that it effectively renders the agreement irreparably broken.

A partial breach of contract, also known as a non-material breach, is a failure on one of the parties to successfully complete a minor contractual obligation.

If you feel as though you’ve been wronged due to a breach of contract, you do have remedies to pursue.  Here is a look at the various remedies available:

  • Monetary Damages
    Monetary damages may be available, but the plaintiff must show the extent of the actual damages.  Moreover, the plaintiff is obligated to try to mitigate the damages incurred as the result of the breach of contract.
  • Special Performance
    Another remedy which may be available to plaintiffs in breach of contract litigation is known as “special performance.”  Special performance obligates the defendant to fulfill the agreement.
  • Liquidated Damages
    Liquidated damages are often specified in the contract.  This is an agreed upon sum of damages, that may be included in a contract where it would be difficult for actual damages to be calculated. It should be noted that not all liquidated damages provisions are enforceable. Brown & Charbonneau, LLP’s business attorneys can provide more information about liquidated damages.
  • Nominal Damages
    Generally speaking, nominal damages serve to acknowledge the breach, but also indicate that there was no harm to the plaintiff, and thus no compensation is due.  In other words, nominal damages are awarded when a breach of contract occurs, but the victim of the breach wasn’t harmed by it.

If you have a dispute regarding a breach of contract, it is smart to speak with a top-rated SoCal business attorney.  In many cases, breach of contract disputes can be settled harmoniously without litigation. If litigation is your only option, our Irvine based team of experienced breach of contract attorneys and trial specialists are here to help.

Please read our article Understanding Breach of Contract Law for more information.

Contact Brown & Charbonneau, LLP today by calling 714-406-4397 to schedule your appointment.