Breach of Contract

Signed contract resting on top of a glass table

Benjamin Law Firm prosecutes and defends breach of contract cases in state and federal court. Whether your business suffered losses due to another party’s alleged breach or you have been accused of failing to meet your contractual obligations, you need the informed representation we provide.

As a leading civil litigation practice in Texas, we have the skills and resources to handle breach-of-contract claims. Lead attorney Brock Benjamin is a skilled trial lawyer with a proven track record of success in negotiation and litigation. Whether you are the plaintiff or defendant, he will work to achieve the best possible outcome. Contact our El Paso office today to schedule a consultation. 

Understanding Breach of Contract in Texas

To understand a breach of contract, the first thing to know is that a contract is a legally enforceable contract between two or more parties. In Texas, the elements of a valid contract include:

  • Offer by one party
  • Acceptance of the offer and terms by another
  • Exchange of consideration or something of value (e.g. money) between the parties
  • Execution and delivery of the contract with the intent that it become mutually binding on both parties

In addition, the contract must be formed for a lawful objective, and the parties must have the legal capacity to enter the agreement. Breach of contract occurs when one party fails to fulfill its obligations to the other party. 

Material Breach

If a party substantially violates the terms of a contract, that is considered a “material breach.” Such a breach harms the involved parties, prevents them from fulfilling their mutual obligations, and undermines the agreement in its entirety. When a material breach occurs, the non-breaching party has a right to stop fulfilling its contractual duties and to take legal action to recover damages. Breach of contract can occur in several ways:

  • Non-payment – One party fails to make a required payment under the contract
  • Non-performance – A party fails to deliver goods or services required by the agreement
  • Material changes – One party significantly alters the contract terms without the other party’s consent
  • Time-related breaches – A party fails to complete the agreed-upon work within the specified time
  • Confidentiality breaches – One party discloses confidential information

Do I have a valid breach of contract claim?

To succeed, you must prove the following elements of breach of contract:

  1. A valid and enforceable contract existed between the parties
  2. You materially performed your obligations under the contract or tendered performance
  3. The defendant failed to materially perform its contractual obligations
  4. You sustained actual damages (e.g. monetary loss) due to the defendant’s breach

At Benjamin Law Firm, we know how to demonstrate the elements of breach of contract and will work to protect your rights and interests. 

The Difference Between Breach of Contract and Bad Faith

Bad faith and breach of contract both involve failures to fulfill contractual obligations, but they are distinct concepts and differ in their underlying nature and legal implications. Bad faith involves the intentional or dishonest conduct of a party in the performance of its contractual obligations in a deliberate attempt to undermine the contract’s purpose or exploit the other party. Examples of bad faith include:

  • A contractor using subpar materials intentionally, knowing that it will compromise quality
  • A supplier delaying deliveries on purpose, causing financial harm to the other party
  • An insurance company unreasonably denying a valid claim without justification

Bad faith is more than a failure to perform; it encompasses deceptive or dishonest practices that undermine the implicit trust and fair dealing of contractual relationships.

Available Damages

A prevailing plaintiff may be entitled to the following damages:

  • Compensatory damages are designed to return the injured party to the financial position it would have heldhad it not been for the breach.
  • Consequential damages to compensate the injured party for future, reasonably foreseeable losses, for example, lost business.
  • Liquidated damages for intangible losses arising from the breach, provided the contract provides for liquidated damages. 

Alternative remedies for breach of contract include:

  • Specific performance – This is a court order directing the breaching party to fulfill and perform its contractual obligations. The court typically awards specific performance when monetary damages are not feasible or the value of the breaching party’s obligation is difficult to determine. 
  • Rescission – The court invalidates the contract and returns the parties to the position they were in prior to signing it. The court will grant a rescission when no other adequate remedy is available and the non-breaching party cannot obtain monetary damages. 

Representing Texas Businesses in Breach of Contract Claims

At Benjamin Law Firm, we are dedicated to resolving contract disputes expediently and professionally. Rest assured, we will work to protect your rights and interests in and out of the courtroom. Contact us today for a consultation.