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Business Litigation in Florida: What is a Material Breach of Contract?

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When you enter a contract with another party, you do so with the intent that both sides will live up to their obligations under the agreement. If your counterpart fails to fulfill the contract, it can cause you and your company tangible damages. You may be entitled to compensation through a breach of contract claim. To bring a successful claim in Florida, you will need to prove that a material breach of contract actually occurred. Within this article, our West Palm Beach business litigation attorney provides a comprehensive overview of what it means for a breach to be ”material” in Florida.

 Florida Law: Material Breach Required to Bring Claim 

A breach of contract claim is a civil cause of action in Florida. The non-breaching party has the right to pursue damages from the breaching party. However, a technical breach of the terms of the contract is not always sufficient to support this time of claim in Florida. To bring a successful breach of contract claim in Florida, a plaintiff must generally prove a material breach has occurred. A material breach is not a minor or inconsequential violation. Instead, it is a substantial failure in performance that deprives the other party of the intended benefits of the contract.

A Hypothetical Example of a Material Breach of Contract 

A Florida tech company enters into a contract with a Florida manufacturing company to produce 10,000 units of a specific electronic component. The competence is essential to the tech company’s key product. The contract stipulates a strict delivery date to align with the tech company’s production schedule. However, the manufacturing company delivers only 5,000 units by the due date. As a result, the tech company endures significant production delays. This significant shortfall in delivery and it caused a real adverse impact on the non-breaching party’s operations. It is a material breach of contract.

A Hypothetical Example of a Non-Material Breach of Contract 

A restaurant in Broward County contracts with a kitchen supplier for materials to be delivered on March 30th. An issue arises and the materials arrive the next day on March 31st. Given the materials are for a long-term renovation project, there is no adverse impact to the restaurant’s operations. Technically, a contract deviation happened. There was a “breach” of the terms. However, the primary objective was not adversely affected. As such, this would likely be deemed a non-material breach. The supplier could provide some form of relief to account for the delay, but absent additional facts, there is likely not a viable breach of contract claim.

 Get Help From a Business Litigation Attorney in West Palm Beach, FL

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida commercial litigation lawyers are standing by, ready to protect your best interests. If you have any questions about a material breach in contract disputes, we can help. Contact us right away for your fully confidential initial consultation. With a law office in West Palm Beach, we provide business litigation representation throughout South Florida, including in Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Miami Beach, and Hialeah.

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