A breach of contract occurs when one party fails to perform its obligations under the contract. While an aggrieved party may wish to sue for monetary damages, other remedies may be available.
Here are three common non-monetary remedies for breach of contract, which, in some cases may be preferable to a monetary damages:
1. Specific performance.
Sometimes you just want to get what you paid for, whether real estate, goods, or intellectual property. For example, if a defendant has made only a partial delivery of goods or the quality of the work product is in question, a plaintiff may find it difficult to find another supplier willing to repair or replace whatever is at issue. Under these circumstances, a court may require the defendant to fulfill its obligations under the original contract—i.e., specific performance.
2. Rescission of the contract.
Another equitable remedy is rescission of the contract. That is when a party sues to unwind or unmake the contract. The goal is to return the parties to the state they were in before entering into the contract—in other words, the status quo, as if the contract never existed. Grounds for rescission include fraud, misrepresentation, mutual mistake, or a failure of consideration.
Sometimes the parties to a contract find that there is a discrepancy between the written terms and what they believe the terms to be. In that case, reformation may be a solution. Reformation is where the court allows the wording of the original contract to be changed when the contract verbiage is ambiguous, a mistake has been made, or when one or both parties do not understand the expressed terms. When a court orders reformation, the rewritten contract becomes legally binding.
Not every solution to a contract dispute needs to be about money. Sometimes business goals call for more creative or nuanced approaches to solving a contract issue.
Williams Mestaz, L.L.P., is a law firm with decades of experience in commercial litigation, including IP infringement, employee lawsuits, business divorce, aviation, and high stakes litigation. Contact us at (602) 256-9400 and schedule a time to meet with us today.