Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently claimed that the Republican National Committee breached a contract with him and that, as a result, he could do whatever he wanted. Putting politics aside, this statement causes one to question whether his underlying legal conclusion, that he can now do “whatever he wants,” is accurate. If so, this would mean that a breach of a contract would put you – the aggrieved party – in a particularly advantageous situation. How accurate is Mr. Trump’s statement regarding the rights of a person to a contract where the other party has committed a breach?
A Breach of a Contract Does Not Give You Carte Blanche
Mr. Trump’s statement can (politely) be termed an oversimplification of a complicated legal concept. When one party to a contract fails to live up to its obligations under the terms of the contract, a breach has occurred. But not all breaches are created equally: while a material breach makes continuation or consummation of the contract impossible, other breaches may allow the parties to continue with their contract (for example, unless special circumstances exist, slight delays in the date and time of delivery will not automatically invalidate a contract).
One of the first things you must do if you are the aggrieved party and the other party has breached a contract is to mitigate your damages. You must take reasonable affirmative steps to limit the amount of harm or injury you suffer. If you do not reasonably mitigate your damages, a court may find that your own carelessness in failing to do so justifies a reduction in the amount of damages you should receive. So, for example, if you need a shipment of widgets by a certain date and your supplier fails to deliver the widgets on time, you must take steps to either alter your operations or find a supplier of widgets who can fulfill your order immediately (if either of these steps would be reasonable under the circumstances).
A Breach of Contract Can Limit Your Legal Remedies
If your contract has a provision authorizing liquidated damages, you may even be restrained in the type of damages you can seek after the other party breaches the contract. Liquidated damages are damages that are agreed upon by the parties before a breach has occurred. When liquidated damages have been agreed to, they are available to the aggrieved party to the exclusion of other types of damages.
If you or your business has been negatively impacted by a breach of a contract, it is important to take prompt action to protect your operations and your legal rights. Contact the dedicated Ohio business law attorneys at the Law Office of John C. Grundy right away for counsel and advice on what your next steps should be. We will help guide you so that you know what action you should take while also aggressively pursuing all available damages from the breaching party. Contact our firm today at (330) 637-9030 or contact us through our website for assistance.