Understanding a Breach of Contract Claim

January 30, 2024

Contracts protect the rights and interests of parties involved in business transactions. Even still, disputes can arise over contractual obligations and contract breaches can occur.. 

If you are a business owner or contractor who has not received products, services, or payments as promised in a  contract, you are protected under Missouri statutes, like the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), and under the Missouri contract law.

How to Prove Breach of Contract in Missouri

In Missouri, you must establish that a valid contract exists before being able to prove that there was a breach. In some cases, this could be a written agreement, an oral agreement, or even an implied contract.

You need to show that you have held up your end of the bargain or were ready to do so and that the other party failed to fulfill their obligations, thus breaching the contract. You also have to prove that you suffered losses due to the breach.

Types of Breaches

Understanding the different types of contract breaches can help you better navigate your case. The main types of breaches you will encounter in Missouri are actual, immaterial, and anticipatory.

  • Actual: An actual breach means that one party failed to fulfill the contractual obligations outlined in the contract by the specified deadline. An example would be a supplier failing to deliver goods on the agreed date.
  • Immaterial: Immaterial or partial breaches may occur when one party does not perform their part of the contract exactly in accordance with the contract terms. An example of an immaterial or partial breach could be when a graphic designer slightly misses a deadline or does not include all details in their final submission, yet the overall objective of agreement nevertheless is met without resulting harm to the other party .
  • Anticipatory: An anticipatory breach is when one party indicates in advance that they will not fulfill their duties as outlined in the contract. This could be through a direct statement or an action that clarifies that they cannot meet their obligations.

What Damages Are Available?

If you have successfully proven a breach of contract, you may be eligible for a few kinds of damages.

Compensatory damages cover the loss you suffered due to the breach. This could include lost profits or costs incurred due to the breach.

Expectation damages cover what you expected to gain from the contract if it had been fulfilled. That cannot be merely speculative but would be based on previous business trends or forecasts or substantiated business expectancies.

Punitive damages may be awarded if one party intentionally harmed the other without just cause or acted with a deliberate and flagrant disregard for the safety of others. The objective would be to punish the party that breached the contract and deter similar behavior in the future; however, they are not commonly awarded in breach-of-contract cases in Missouri.

Contact PathGuide Law Today to Speak with A Kansas City Business Attorney

Recognizing a breach of contract and knowing how to respond are vital skills. If you suspect there's been a breach of contract, contact a Kansas City business attorney.

At PathGuide Law, we are ready to guide you through the process, ensuring you understand each step and helping you seek the damages you deserve. Contact us online or call (816) 710-6900 to schedule a free consultation with our lead business attorney, Kevin Corlew.

Contact PathGuide Law Today
PathGuide Law is ready to take on your business’s legal concerns, so you can focus on doing what you love most. Contact us today to get started on your case.