In business, to “breach a contract” means the failure to perform any term of a contract without a legitimate
excuse, whether such a contract is oral or written. Examples of this,
include but are not limited to:
- The failure to complete a job
- The failure to pay on time
- The failure to pay in full
- Not delivering all of the goods
- Being late without a legitimate excuse
- An act which shows a party will not complete the work (anticipatory breach)
In the business world, breach of contract is one of the predominant causes
When one party fails to adhere to one of the terms of the contract, the
innocent party may seek a legal remedy, which may include one of the following:
Restitution: The breaching party is ordered by the court to pay the other party back.
Compensatory damages: When the court awards compensatory damages, it is ordering the breaching
party to pay the other party enough money to obtain what was promised
in the contract from another source.
Punitive damages: Usually when something immoral occurred, punitive damages are awarded
to punish the breaching party.
Nominal damages: These are awarded when a breach of contract occurred, but neither side
suffered any harm.
Liquidated damages: These damages are paid when the parties agree to pay in the event of a
Quantum meruit: A court awards money to one of the parties for work that they performed,
even if it was not completed. In Latin, it means “as much as he
What does ‘remedy in equity’ mean?
When the court orders a party to do something, it is called a “remedy
in equity,” but it can also be called “injunctive relief.”
In a breach of contract case, a
remedy in equity can involve: 1) cancelling the contract and deciding that neither party
is bound to it, or 2) the court can force the breaching party to deliver
the goods or perform the service that was promised in the contract.
This is called “specific performance,” and usually applies
to cases where the goods or services are unique and it is the best legal
Contact a Chicago business law attorney at Rifkind Patrick LLC today.