A breach of contract occurs when one party fails to perform a promise without a legal excuse. This commonly occurs between individuals or an entity (businesses, churches, non-profit, etc.) contracting with another party for a service to be performed. Often, situations occur where one party just does not seem to care to honor their contractual obligations and suing them may be the only relief you have to enforce the contract and recover any damages.
For any action to be taken on a breach of contract claim, the following elements are necessary:
- A contract and terms exist
- The plaintiff performed or tendered performance pursuant to the contract
- The defendant has breached the contract
- The plaintiff has suffered damages as a result of the defendant's breach of contract
Generally, damages may include monetary (compensatory) damages if the amount will cover and replace what was loss as a result of the other party's breach of contract. Some contracts specify damages in the event of a breach (liquidated damages). In some situations, monetary damages may not be necessary and court ordered performance by the breaching party may be the more appropriate remedy.
In Missouri, the statute of limitations to file suit out of breach of a written contract is five (5) years.
Contract law can be very complex and intimidating. Our office has experience working on contractual matters of varying sizes and services. If you are experiencing a situation where another party is failing to perform their legal obligation within a contract, contact our office to look at your options for enforcing the contract, (816) 319-0508.