Remedies available for construction contract breaches

On Behalf of | Nov 6, 2020 | Construction Contracts |

Given the complexity of many construction contracts, it is not surprising that breach of contract lawsuits often occur. 

In general, the main reasons you may have for bringing such a suit include: 

  • Failure to perform by the other party of one or more of the contract’s provisions 
  • Defective performance, i.e., poor workmanship by the other party 
  • Delay by the other party in meeting the contract schedule 

Available remedies

Depending on the precise nature of the breach you allege the other contract party committed, you can ask for one or more of the following remedies: 

  • Damages 
  • Rescission 
  • Reformation 
  • Specific performance 

As their name implies, compensatory damages compensate you for the actual losses or injuries you incurred as a result of the breach. Punitive damages represent an additional amount courts award if they determine that the breaching party’s actions were intentional, vindictive or egregious. If your contract calls for them, you could ask for liquidated damages. 

Rescission terminates all contract rights for you and the breaching party, thereby attempting to put both of you back in the positions you were before you signed the contract. Conversely, reformation keeps the contract in force, but under altered duties and obligations. 

Specific performance forces both you and the other party to continue working together to complete the contract as though the breach dispute never happened. Disputing parties seldom ask for specific performance and courts rarely grant it. After all, since your lawsuit alleges that the other party already breached the contract, it is unreasonable to expect that the two of you can keep working together in anything approaching a harmonious manner. 

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