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The difference between a minor and material contract breach 

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2022 | Business Litigation

You had a deal with a party that promised you goods or services. You and the other party to ensure everything would be done promptly. However, there were difficulties along the way and now you believe you’re dealing with a contract breach. 

Most contracts detail everything that should be expected between two parties, such as the completion date, the work, service or product being done, materials used and the final outcome of a service. Yet, when one or more of these factors are missing, then there may be a contract breach.

Most contract breaches are either considered minor or material. When deciding how to approach a contract breach, you may need to determine if your contact had a minor or material breach. Here’s what you should know:

What is a minor contract breach?

Essentially, a minor contract breach occurs when everything in a contract is fulfilled except for one small part – and that lapse doesn’t really harm anything.

For example, a part may have ordered several tons of steel of a particular quality. When the steel arrived, all of it was accounted for in the specified quality, however, it was delivered a day later than requested. In most cases, a minor contract breach does not affect the outcome of what a party is meant to fulfill, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean the affected party won’t seek compensation for damages.

What is a material contract breach?

A material breach occurs when a specified condition on a contract isn’t met and may lead a party to seek damages. 

Imagine that a contractor ordered several hundred tons of steel for a building. The steel arrives as requested, however, there are a hundred tons of steel missing, causing a delay in the construction of the building – costing hundreds of thousands due to the lost time. In this case, a material breach occurred because there was a critical part of the contract missed, which led to serious financial damages.

If you’re facing a contract breach issue, then you may need to know your legal options to ensure you’re compensated for your losses