Breach of Contract Lawyer Near Toledo, Ohio

Sawan & Sawan - Local Family-Owned Toledo Law Firm

Ohio Breach of Contract Lawyers

A breach of contract occurs when a party fails to deliver under the terms of an agreement. If the agreement in question meets the legal definition of a contract, if either party does not perform, a breach can occur. Contracts can be either oral or written but if they meet the legal elements of an enforceable contract, failure to perform can lead to a breach of contract lawsuit. The parties can choose to resolve the breach either among themselves or in a court of law.

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The Elements of Breach Of Contract

In general and depending on the nuances of any particular State, there are usually four overarching elements to a breach of contract claim. They are:

  1. A valid contract.
  2. Complete performance by the complaining party.
  3. Breach by the other party.
  4. Damages.

It is important to know that each category contains many subtle nuances depending on the parties involved, the size and nature of the transaction and the particular jurisdiction involved. While these general overarching categories are usually the key issues, other disputes can arise depending on the specific terms of the agreement at issue. That’s why there is simple no substitute to having an experienced lawyer review the facts of your case. 

Anticipatory Repudiation or Breach

Anticipatory repudiation occurs when a party advises the other party before the contract deadline that she will not be able to honor her obligations under the contract. Once the repudiation occurs, the non-breaching party can sue immediately before the original contractual deadline. This party must take steps to mitigate their contractual losses. She can also decide to either affirm and continue with the contract or rescind and seek damages. As to damages, she can recover expected, consequential, incidental, or reliance damages. The court can also order specific performance requiring the breaching party to fulfill her contractual obligations.

Breach of Contract Statute of Limitations

Effective June 16, 2021, Ohio Revised Code 2305.07 requires parties to file claims for a breach of written contract within six years after the cause of action accrues. If a breach of an oral contract occurs, the statute of limitations is four years.

Breach Of Contract Remedies

If a breach of contract occurs, the complaining party must prove damages. Various types of damages might be available depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. Compensatory damages may be recovered which restores the complaining party to their original position before the breach. They may also recover either expected or consequential damages, specific performance under the contract, restitution, rescission, reformation, or nominal damages. If you are a party to a breached contract, it is imperative to have a knowledgeable lawyer analyze any and all potential damages you may be entitled too.

Breach of Contract Defenses

When looking at a breach of contract action, there are several defenses that can be raised. One defense occurs when an oral contract should be in writing. In this defense, under the “Statute of Frauds” certain contracts must be in writing. An example would be a real estate contract can not be oral but must be in wiring. An indefinite contract can be argued when important contractual terms are indefinite. When this occurs, the contract is not final or a court can not figure out the important terms. Mutual mistakes about a material fact can also be a defense. Lack of consent to enter into a contract or fraudulent inducement may also cancel the contract. If the contract is unconscionable as unfair or oppressive, it too may be raised as a defense. A different understanding of the contract which the breaching party relied on, may cause an estoppel defense to apply. Finally, if the contract results in an illegal purpose, it can also be canceled.

Damages for Breach of Contract

There are several types of damages available in a breach of contract case. Compensatory damages either general or specific, reflect the direct losses that the non-breaching party incurs. The goal is to put the party back in the same position she would have been if the contract had been completely performed. Reliance damages gives the non-breaching party the costs incurred in reliance on the other party’s performance. Restitution damages allows the non-breaching party to recover what was gained by the breaching party. In specific performance damages, a court will require the breaching party to complete her obligations under the contract. Liquidated damages are those damages that are outlined in the contract. When the breach occurs, the breaching party will be paid a fixed amount. Rescission allows the cancellation of the contract which will restore the parties to their pre-contract positions. An injunction, which is ordered by the court, will either prevent or allow certain conduct.
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Dennis P. Sawan

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Chris Sawan

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