What are the remedies and damages for a breach of contract?

by Timothy P. Heather, Lawyer Referral Service Panelist

The most prevalent remedy for a breach of contract is to require the party who breached the contract to pay damages to the non-breaching party.  In some instances, the injured party can compel specific performance of the contract, or have the contract modified or cancelled.  Sometimes, an order can be obtained from the Court to prevent further loss.

Most often, the best remedy for breach of contracts is money damages for the loss the breach of the contract caused.  The breaching party’s liability is not necessarily the contract price or the value of the contract.  The non-breaching party may be entitled to additional damages.

In some situations, particularly where the subject of a contract is unique, a Court may compel a breaching party to comply with the contract terms rather than pay damages.  An example would be a rare antique or something which is one-of-a-kind.

In some instances, a party may be legally allowed to cancel a contract.  This is known as “rescission.”  One should be careful about rescinding a contract unless the other party has already materially breached it in some fashion.  In Ohio, disputes concerning contracts which have a value of $15,000 or less can be resolved in Municipal Court.  If more than $15,000 is in controversy, contractual disputes should be resolved in the Court of Common Pleas for each county.  Normally, Municipal Court cases are quicker and cheaper than those in Common Pleas.

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