There are many contracts that are formed in construction projects. Property owners make agreements with designers and contractors and contractors make agreements with subcontractors. It is a complex process.
While things run smoothly when everyone does what they agreed to, the fact is that sometimes one party will not hold up their end of the bargain. This is called breach of contract. It is important to know what breach of contract is and what defenses you may have if you are accused of it.
What is breach of contract?
A breach of contract can be material or minor. The difference involves what the harmed party did (or did not) receive and what remedies are available to them. A minor breach of contract occurs when the non-breaching party receives what they bargained for, with some hiccups along the way. A material breach of contract occurs when the non-breaching party does not receive what they bargained for at all per the terms of their agreement.
Defenses against breach of contract
If you are accused of breach of contract, you may have one or more arguments in your favor. A contract cannot be enforced if:
- Enforcing would go against public policy
- Performance is impossible
- Performance of the contract involves illegal activity
- Nothing was actually bargained for
- The contract is based on fraud, or
- There is a mutual mistake
These are only some examples of defenses against a breach of contract claim. There are other defenses not listed here.
Breach of contract and construction law
Contracts form the backbone of many construction projects in Florida. Thus, it may be inevitable that sometimes a contract is breached. If you are on the receiving end of a breach of contract claim, it is important to understand what you are being accused of and what defenses you have at your disposal.