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What is a material versus minor breach of contract?

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2022 | Uncategorized

Contracts form the backbone of many business dealings in Beaumont and are an essential part of our economy. Businesses rely on each other to follow through on these agreements but that does not always happen. Sometimes a contract is breached. The breach can be either material or minor.

Material breach of contract

Sometimes a breach of contract is material. This means that the breaching party failed to perform what they agreed to and as a result the non-breaching party received something substantially different than what was agreed upon. For example, if the non-breaching party was supposed to receive a delivery of hammers per the terms of the contract but instead received a delivery of wrenches, this could amount to a material breach of contract. If there is a material breach of contract, the non-breaching party is relieved of their duty to uphold their end of the bargain.

Minor breach of contract

Sometimes a breach of contract is minor. This means that although the breaching party did not follow through on some aspect of the agreement, the non-breaching party still received what they were entitled to per the terms of the contract. For example, if the breaching party was two weeks late in delivering a shipment of widgets, but the non-breaching party did eventually receive the widgets, and there is no delivery date in the contract or language specifying that “time is of the essence,” this could be a minor breach of contract. If there is a minor breach of contract, the non-breaching party still must uphold their end of the bargain. However, they may still be entitled to damages suffered due to the breach.

As you can see, the non-breaching party’s duties and remedies depend on whether the breach was material or minor. When there is a contract dispute, it is important that both sides understand what they are obligated to do, and if the contract is breached, what their legal rights and options are.