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What is Florida’s Materiality Requirement for Breach of Contract Claims?


A breach of contract occurs when one party fails to fulfill their obligations as outlined in a legally enforced contractual agreement. The non-breaching party has the right to pursue remedies following a breach. However, there are certain criteria that must be met to prove liability in a breach of contract claim—and in Florida, that includes satisfying the materiality requirement. Here, our Miami commercial litigation lawyer explains the most important things you need to understand about Florida’s materiality requirement for breach of contract claims.

Florida Contract Law is Unique: Materiality is a Required Element 

To bring a successful breach of contract claim in Florida, a plaintiff—the non-breaching party—must satisfy Florida’s materiality requirement. Here is an overview of what the legal principle means in practice:

  • Florida’s materiality requirement for breach of contract claims mandates that the breach must be substantial and significant to justify legal action.

In other words, a minor violation or an inconsequential failure to perform to contractual terms will not be sufficient for a breach of contract lawsuit in Florida. One thing that sets Florida apart is that the state strictly adheres to the standard. Plaintiffs must be prepared to assert a material breach.

Understanding What Constitutes a Material Breach of Contract: Examples 

Contact law is complicated. The concept of a material breach can generally be best understood through examples. Here are some hypothetical of conduct that does and does not constitute a material breach of contract in Florida:

  • Material Breach: Imagine you hire a company in South Florida To build a swimming pool in your backyard, The company finishes the pool on June 15th. However, almost immediately the pool leaks water and cannot be safely filled. That leak is sufficient to constitute a material breach of performance.
  • Material Breach: Consider a company that needs 500 units of a particular part to finish its own products and meat production schedules. However, its supplier only delivers 100 units in a timely manner. That is a material breach as it undermines production.
  • Non-Material Breach: Suppose a lease agreement stipulates that the landlord must clean the office windows within the first week of the month. The landlord delays, and widows are cleaned a week late. That would likely be deemed a non-material breach.
  • Non-Material Breach: In a contract with a cleaning service, the agreement may require the cleaning team to restock bathroom supplies as part of their duties. If they occasionally forget to replace the hand soap but perform all other cleaning duties in the proper manner, that small error would likely be deemed a non-material breach.

Contact Our South Florida Contract Litigation Attorney Today

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, we are experienced, effective advocates for clients. If you have any questions or concerns about materiality and breach of contract claims, our legal team can help. Contact us today to set up a fully confidential initial consultation. With an office in Miami and an office in West Palm Beach, our firm handles contract litigation throughout South Florida.

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