Legal Memorandum: Elements of a Breach of Contract Claim

Issue: What must a plaintiff prove to establish the legal elements of a breach of contract claim?

Area of Law: Business Organizations & Contracts
Keywords: Breach of contract claim; Elements of claim
Jurisdiction: Kansas
Cited Cases: 708 P.2d 1004; 339 P.2d 57; 528 P.2d 1211; 215 Kan. 724; 184 Kan. 644; 510 P.2d 1322
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 08/01/2012

To prove a breach of contract claim, a plaintiff must show (1) existence of the contract alleged in the petition; (2) sufficient consideration to support the contract; (3) performance or willingness to perform in compliance with the contract alleged; and (4) the defendant’s breach insofar as such matters are in issue.  Commercial Credit Corp. v. Harris, 212 Kan. 310, 313, 510 P.2d 1322 (1973). 

“A party to a contract cannot insist upon damages for nonperformance by the other party without showing performance or an offer to perform and an ability to make the offer good if it is accepted.”  Zehring v. Driskel, 184 Kan. 644, 647, 339 P.2d 57, 59 (1959). 

“It is an elementary principle of law that to be enforceable a contract must be based upon valuable consideration.  It is also the rule in this jurisdiction that an agreement to do or the doing of that which a person is already bound to do does not constitute a sufficient consideration for a new promise.”  Apperson v. Security State Bank, 215 Kan. 724, 734, 528 P.2d 1211, 1219 (1974). 

See Oringderff v. Brandenburg, 708 P.2d 1004, 1004 (Kan. Ct. App. 1985) (“[A] promise is a sufficient consideration for a return promise if the performance that is promised would be a sufficient consideration.”). 


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