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What Are Remedies for Breach of Contract?

Burgoyne Law Offices Feb. 18, 2020

In a perfect world, when two parties enter a contract, both parties will uphold their ends of the agreement and no disputes would arise. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect, and the unexpected often crops up to hinder or prevent parties from successfully carrying out a contract. This can happen for a number of reasons, including delays, financial problems and miscommunication, among several others. Regardless of why a party fails to uphold his or her end of a contract, the other party may view the failure as a breach of contract. If you are on the receiving end of a breach, you may wonder what remedies are available to you. FindLaw explores recourse options for breach of contract in brief.

According to FindLaw, there are three main remedies for a breach of contract: Specific performance, restitution or cancellation and damages. Specific performance refers to the court-ordered performance of one’s duty per the contract. A judge may order this if the subject matter of the contract is rare or unique and if damages would not suffice to undo the damage caused by the breach.

If the damage caused by the breach is not too great — meaning, it did not necessarily put you in a worse position than the one in which you started— you may seek to cancel the contract. Doing so would relieve all parties of their contractual obligations. You may also wish to sue for restitution, which basically refers to a remedy that would put you back at square one.

Damages are the most common remedy for a contract breach. “Damages” refers to compensation, but there are several types of damages you may claim. Those include compensatory damages, which aim to restore you to the position you would have been in had the breach not occurred; nominal damages, which the judge may award if you accrued no actual monetary loss as a result of the breach; punitive damages, which the judge may award as a means of punishing the wrongful party; and liquidated damages, which refer to specific damages that parties identified in the contract itself.