Contracts form the crux of business and employment relationships in New York. When two parties enter into a contract they outline and understand the obligations and responsibilities each party has towards one another, each intending to fulfill it to the best of their ability. In case it is not completed or one of the terms is not met, it can be considered a breach and contracts often also outline the legal recourse available to each party. Some examples can be when a party does not complete their work on time, in accordance with the terms, or does not perform at all.
When one party breaches a contract, the other party has various means to get relief from the court. One of the options available is trying to recover the financial harm that was caused by the alleged breach. Known as damages, there are various categories of monetary relief available to the aggrieved party, such as compensatory damages, which put the injured party in the position they would have been had the breach not occurred, and liquidated damages, which are damages identified in the contract itself allocating the monetary amount that would be paid in case of a breach. There are also other types of damages that can be recovered which may be based on a party’s individual circumstances.
A non-breaching party may also be able to cancel the contract and sue for restitution if a benefit was provided to the breaching party. Restitution refers to the non-breaching party being put in the position they were in prior to the breach taking place and cancellation relieves all parties from their obligations under the contract.
There are a number of options available to the aggrieved party in event of a contract dispute arising out of a breach of contract. Understanding these options and knowing which are applicable in any given situation may seem daunting at first, but getting the right information can help.
Source: FindLaw, “breach of contract and lawsuits,” Accessed on Aug. 30, 2016