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The difference between material and minor breach of contract

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2022 | Business & Commercial Litigation |

A crucial aspect of many business operations in Norcross is the ability to execute written contracts and the expectation that the other party will follow through on these agreements. So, when one party to a contract does not deliver what they promised, your next step may be pursuing a breach of contract lawsuit. Determining whether the breach was material or minor is an important part of a breach of contract lawsuit.

What is a material breach of contract?

A breach of contract is material if you received something substantially different from what you agreed upon. For example, if you contracted for a shipment of 100 wooden tables and instead received 50 plastic chairs, this would be a material breach of contract.

The nonbreaching party is a material breach of contract and does not have to fulfill what they promised under the terms of the agreement, and they have the right to pursue all appropriate remedies for the breach.

A material breach of contract factors

A court will consider several factors when determining materiality. The court will consider what benefit the nonbreaching party received and whether they can be appropriately compensated for what they lost.

The court will also consider the breaching party’s performance and any hardships the breaching party faces. The court will consider whether the breach was negligent or willful and whether it is likely that the breaching party will meet their remaining obligations under the contract.

What is a minor breach of contract?

A breach of contract is minor if you still received what you were promised, but the breaching party failed to meet some provisions in the agreement. For example, a reasonable delay in shipment may be a minor breach of contract unless the contract stated specific delivery date or included language in the contract stating that deadlines are firm. In the case of a minor breach of contract, you still must fulfill your end of the agreement, but you can still seek damages that were incurred due to the breach.

Litigating your breach of contract claim

Litigating a breach of contract claim in Georgia can seem overwhelming, especially if you are unsure about whether the breach was material or minor. Fortunately, assistance is available to those who want to pursue a breach of contract suit. Attorneys can explain the difference between material and minor breaches, and how they apply to your case.