When one party to a contract breaches the agreement, the results can be devastating for the other party. The results many times include cash flow problems, inability to meet obligations under other contracts, reputation damage, and difficulty paying employees. Even when the consequences are not this dire, it can be extremely frustrating dealing with a contracting party refusing to abide by its duties. If your company finds itself in a business breach of contract dispute, the Raleigh civil litigation attorneys of Maginnis Law can help your business enforce its contractual rights.
With a few limited exceptions, contracts under North Carolina law can be oral or written. A contract is created when there is a “meeting of the mind” between two parties and each party provides some form of “consideration.” Typical examples of “consideration” includes services, goods, or money. Essentially, “consideration” can be anything with value.
Once a contract is agreed upon, each party has to abide by its obligations and duties under the agreement. If a party fails to do so, the other party can sue for breach of contract. The statute of limitations in North Carolina in a breach of contract action is three years. If, however, the agreement was executed “under seal,” the statute of limitations is ten years.
In any breach of contract case, if the plaintiff can prove its case, it will be entitled to be placed in the position it would have been had it not been for the defendant’s breach. For example, in a simple collection on account case, if the defendant failed to pay for services or goods rendered, the plaintiff can recover what should have been paid, along with any interest and attorneys’ fees permitted under the contract or North Carolina law. Some situations are a bit more complex, though. Assume, for example, that defendant was supposed to perform general contracting work for plaintiff for the amount of $100,000.00. Assume further that plaintiff did, in fact, pay the $100,000.00, but defendant then refused to do the work. The only replace plaintiff can locate to perform the general contracting work would cost $125,000.00. In this scenario, plaintiff could recover the full $125,000.00 from the defendant, $100,000.00 as repayment and $25,000.00 to cover the cost of finding a reasonable substitute. The plaintiff is entitled to the “benefit of the bargain” in this example.
Not all business breach of contract cases are as simple as these two examples. Many modern contracts have complex payment and service structures. It is many times difficult to determine all of the clauses of the contract that have been breached and the full nature of any resulting monetary damages.
The Raleigh business attorneys of Maginnis Law have helped companies of all sizes litigate business disputes, including complex breach of contract cases. From publicly traded companies to local North Carolina small businesses, we have represented folks across the business spectrum. We offer big firm experience and education without the layers of administrative staff you will deal with at larger firms. To speak with one of our business breach of contract lawyers, visit our contact page or call (919) 526-0450. The firm offers free consultations to prospective civil litigation clients throughout North Carolina and is available to represent out-of-state companies with North Carolina lawsuits. In many breach of contract cases, we can offer a contingency fee agreement where you owe no attorneys’ fees unless we recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf.