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Legal Memorandum: Breach of Contract Claim in FL

Issue: What are the elements of a breach of contract claim in Florida?

Area of Law: Business Organizations & Contracts
Keywords: Breach of contract claim; Elements
Jurisdiction: Florida
Cited Cases: 866 So. 2d 148; 418 F. Supp. 2d 1330
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 01/01/2008

“Under Florida law, the elements of a breach of contract claim are (1) a valid contract, (2) a material breach, and (3) damages.  A material breach occurs only when an injured party has sustained a substantial injury due to the breach.”  Border Collie Rescue, Inc. v. Ryan, 418 F. Supp. 2d 1330, 1342-43 (M.D. Fla. 2006) (citations omitted).  See also In re Gulf N. Trans., Inc., 340 B.R. 111, 119 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 2006) (observing that the plaintiff must prove contract, breach, and damages flowing from that breach).  When the evidence shows that the party responsible for payments actually paid all amounts owing, and that there was no outstanding balance or notice to that party of an outstanding balance, there has been no breach of contract.  Id. at 122.  See also Border Collie Rescue, 418 F. Supp. 2d at 1343 (finding that the assertions of breach of contract were “entirely conjectural and fail[ed] to establish any breach or any damages Border Collie has suffered as a result”).

Specifically, when a contract does not state a particular date by which an act must be accomplished, the contract did not provide penalties for a delay, the complaining party never gave notice that the act should be performed within a stated time, and the complaining party did not suffer any hardship due to a delay, there is no material breach so as to support a breach of contract action.  Atlanta Jet v. Liberty Aircraft Servs., LLC, […]

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