Bad Contractors: Breach of Contract
If you’ve ever had to deal with an unreliable contractor for your home, you may have thought about taking legal action. At our practice, we have helped many clients successfully take action.
In this multi-part series, we’ll look at some of the most common claims that homeowners make when dealing with a bad contractor in Ohio.
In today’s post, we’ll explore the claim of “Breach of Contract.”
What is “Breach of Contract”?
When a party does not perform one or more of the terms of the contract, that party has committed a breach of contract. Any unexcused breach of contract allows a non-breaching party to recover damages.
A contract is breached when one party, without just cause, fails or refuses to perform his/her agreement even though the other party has performed all he/she was required to do under the agreement. (See Ohio Jury Instructions (OJI) Section 253.01(6).)
What Must Be Proven?
The following three elements must be proven by a greater weight or preponderance of the evidence in order to prove a breach of contract.
1) the existence of a contract;
2) an unexcused non-performance of an obligation under the contract amounting to a breach of contract; and
3) damages caused by the breach.
In order to prove a breach by the Contractor, Claimants must show that the Contractor did not perform one or more of the terms of the contract. (Jarupan v. Hammond, 10th Dist. Franklin No. 06AP-1069, 173 Ohio App.3d 284, 294, 2007-Ohio-5081, 878 N.E.2d 66, 73, paragraph 18.)
What is the Outcome of a Breach of Contract?
When Claimants have proven their breach of contract claim, they are entitled to be placed in as good a position as they would have occupied had the contract been fulfilled in accordance with its terms. The Claimants are not entitled to be put in a better position by a recovery of damages for breach of contract than would have been realized had there been full performance. The damages to be awarded are those that may fairly and reasonably be considered as arising out of the breach or those that may reasonably have been in the contemplation of the parties when the contract was made.
Feel free to contact our firm to ask any questions you may have about a breach of contract situation.