What Are Your Options When a Breach of Contract in New York Occurs?
Regardless of how often a breach of contract happens in sales or other business transactions, it is never a pleasant situation. If the other party has not honored their contractual obligations, should you forgive and forget or take legal action to compensate for your losses?
If you are considering the latter, DoNotPay provides state-specific information so that you can handle the issue according to the law.
This article shows what you should be paying attention to when a breach of contract in New York arises.
A breach of contract happens when one party does not perform their obligations as determined by the agreement.
If you are the injured—i.e., non-breaching—party and would like to enforce the contract or be awarded damages, you will need to prove the following breach of contract elements to the court:
- Existence of a contract between you and the breaching party
- Performance of your obligations according to the contract
- Other party’s failure or refusal to fulfill their contractual commitments
- Damages you have suffered as a result of the other party not honoring their contractual obligations
Different breaches of contract can have varying legal consequences. The following table presents a detailed description of possible types of breaches of contract:
|Breach of Contract Types||Specifics|
|Minor breach||A minor—also called impartial—breach occurs when a contractual party:
|Anticipatory breach||This type of breach occurs when one contractual party tells or suggests—in words or actions—that they cannot or will not complete their end of the deal. In that case, since you might not be able to recover the extra damages you have incurred, you should try to:
|Material breach||A material breach affects both parties so much that neither party can fulfill their contractual obligations.
If a material breach happens, you can:
Keep in mind that if you decide to start a lawsuit, you should:
- Check the NY statute of limitations to confirm that you can initiate legal proceedings
- Prepare necessary evidence, especially if the breaching party raises affirmative defenses
If you win the case, you will receive damages or other equitable remedies. The types of damages you might be awarded in NY are:
- Compensatory damages—The purpose of awarding these damages is to place you—i.e., the non-breaching party—in the same place you would have been if the breach had not happened in the first place. Compensatory damages include the reimbursement for goods or services you had to buy to replace the ones that the breaching party should have provided under the contract
- Consequential damages—These damages are indirectly related to the breach of contract, e.g., you have lost business as a result of the breach. For a court to award you consequential damages, you need to prove that harm and injury you have suffered:
- Are a result of the breach
- Have been foreseen as a result of the breach
- Nominal damages—If the breach didn’t cause any real harm, a judge might award nominal damages to confirm that you were right. The awarded amounts can be as small as $1
- Liquidated damages—A judge might award liquidated damages if:
- Your contract contains liquidated damage provisions
- The agreed-upon amounts are reasonably related to anticipated breach of contract damages
Keep in mind that under New York laws:
- The non-breaching party must mitigate damages—Otherwise, courts might not award damages if they find that you could have avoided the losses you have incurred
- Punitive damages are usually not awarded for breach of contract in New York
Since litigation is usually a lengthy and costly process, you should first try to resolve the issue with the other party directly. You can do that by sending them a breach of contract demand letter that should:
- Formally remind the breaching party of their unfulfilled contractual obligations
- Include a solution, e.g., a new deadline for payment or delivery of goods or services
Keep in mind that even if you end up suing the other party, a court might see your demand letter as an effective way of trying to mitigate extra damages.
Sign up for DoNotPay to create an airtight yet affordable demand letter fast.
There is no need for you to waste any time or energy inspecting unreliable online demand letter templates and adapting them to your case and state laws. You also do not have to hire a pricey attorney to draw up a demand letter for you.
DoNotPay can help you prepare various legal documents—including a demand letter—efficiently.
Subscribe to DoNotPay and take these steps:
- Access our Client Breach of Contract product
- Answer the chatbot’s questions about the contract and breaching party
- Enter the payment or delivery deadline
- Upload files that could serve as evidence, if available
DoNotPay generates your demand letter automatically by ensuring all legal requirements are met.
What if you do not get a reply or receive an unfavorable response? We can help you sue the other party in small claims court!
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