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Can You Defend a Breach of Contract on the Grounds that Other Party Did Not Suffer Damages?


Is your company facing allegations of breach of contract? A proactive approach is a must. You do not want to fall behind your counterparty. Facing a breach of contract claim is stressful and frustrating—especially so if you are convinced that the other party suffered no actual harm. This raises an important question: Can you defend a breach of contract claim on the grounds of lack of plaintiff damages? The short answer is ‘yes’—though there are some complicated factors. Here, our Miami breach of contract defense lawyer provides a more comprehensive explanation.

A Breach of Contract Claim is Designed to Make the Non-Breaching Party “Whole” 

In Florida, the foundational principle of a breach of contract claim is to restore the non-breaching party to the position they would have occupied had the breach not occurred. The legal doctrine aims to make the aggrieved party “whole” again. In other words, the compensation for a breach of contract should accurately reflect the loss incurred by the non-breaching party. Damages are a required element in a breach of contract claim in Florida. If the non-breaching party had literally no damages, they may not have a viable legal claim.

 A Contract May Contain a Liquidated Damages Clause 

A liquidated damages clause within a contract specifies a predetermined amount of money that must be paid if one party breaches the contract. In Florida, such clauses are enforceable provided they are designed to estimate damages foreseeably incurred from a breach and are not punitive in nature. The utility of a liquidated damages clause lies in its ability to provide a clear, agreed-upon measure of damages, thereby potentially avoiding litigation over the extent of harm suffered. In Florida, a liquidated damages clause is enforceable as long as it is reasonable as an approximation of damages at the time of contract formation. Liquidated damages can still be awarded for breach of contract without proof of actual damages if the clause itself is enforceable.

A Court May Need to Assess Whether Non-Breaching Party has Sustained Damages 

Who says that the non-breaching party did not suffer damages? Even if you are convinced of that fact, the other party may not agree. It could be an issue that needs to be evaluated by a Florida court. In situations where damages are not self-evident or disputed, the court’s role becomes critical in evaluating evidence, determining the presence and extent of damages. For this reason, it is generally best to try to avoid litigation and resolve a breach of contract dispute in another manner.

 Speak to Our Miami Breach of Contract Defense Attorney Today

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Miami commercial litigation lawyer has deep experience handling breach of contract claims. If you or your business is facing a lawsuit for breach of contract, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a confidential consultation. From our Miami office, we defend breach of contract lawsuits in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, and beyond.

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