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Manhattan contract law attorneysContracts are an inevitable part of life for most people, and business owners, in particular.  Contracts also take many different forms, from express written commitments such as a signed lease to unwritten but enforceable oral contracts. Examples of oral contracts include when you call a plumber to fix a problem in your home, and he or she does, but you do not have this in writing. You cannot, in such a case, refuse to pay because the contract was not in writing. Whether a contract is in writing or oral, if you fail to perform as agreed, you can be sued for breach of contract.

Breach of Contract in New York

For someone to sue you in New York for breach of contract, he or she must show that you committed a “material breach” of the contract terms. A material breach is generally deemed to be doing or not doing something that significantly frustrates or altogether defeats the purpose of the contract. In addition to the breach, the person suing you must show that he or she suffered a monetary loss as a result of the breach.

For example, assume you are a window replacement contractor, and you are hired to replace ten windows in someone’s home at a price of $1,000 per window. The homeowner paid you $5,000 before you did any work, and you sent your workers to start the project. However, due to unavoidable circumstances, you discover that your team will not be able to complete all ten windows. At the time you realize this, your workers have only been able to replace only two windows.

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