Business used to be done on the merit of a man’s word, or on a handshake. It’s hard to imagine that kind of trust in today’s culture, where detailed contracts define business relationships. Experienced (and expensive) attorneys negotiate terms to which both parties agree to adhere. Unfortunately, even then, contracts can be broken, or “breached.” If you’ve entered into a contract and the other party has not held up their end, you may have a breach of contract claim.
What is a contract?
A contract is an agreement or exchange of promises between two or more persons to do or not to do certain things. This agreement or exchange of promises can be oral or in writing and must be supported by something of value. The requirements for a valid contract are an offer, an acceptance, consideration, competent parties, and a legal purpose. Under Tennessee law, in order to have a claim for a breach of contract, you must demonstrate that there is an enforceable contract, a nonperformance amounting to a breach, and damages caused by the breach.
What happens when a contract is breached?
If a party does not perform according to the contract terms, that party has committed a breach of the contract. Any unexcused breach of contract allows a non-breaching party to recover damages.
The breach of contract must be a material breach. A minor and insubstantial failure of a party to meet the terms of a contract does not entitle the other party to reject the contract and not be responsible under it.
What damages may be recovered?
The plaintiff is not entitled to be put in a better position by a recovery of damages for breach of contract than would have been realized had there been full performance. The damages to be awarded are those that may fairly and reasonably be considered as arising out of the breach or those that may reasonably have been in the contemplation of the parties when the contract was made. Damages that are remote or speculative may not be awarded.
Generally, the jury may award all damages which are the normal and foreseeable results of a breach of contract. Such damages include reasonably foreseeable incidental damages. Incidental damages include additional costs incurred by the plaintiff after the breach in a reasonable attempt to avoid loss.
Do you need a Breach of Contract Lawyer? Contact us today for a free consultation.
With more than 75 years of combined experience and more than $45 million recovered for our clients, The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto are serious lawyers who know how to win. We represent clients in lawsuits involving breaches of contract and the above related claims. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. Call (865) 691-2777 or use the convenient response form below.