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Legal Memorandum: Plausible Breach of Contract Claim

Issue: What is necessary to state a plausible breach of contract claim in order to survive a motion to dismiss in Florida?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Breach of contract claim; Motion to dismiss
Jurisdiction: Federal, Florida
Cited Cases: 349 So. 2d 795; 154 So. 2d 313; 202 F.2d 481; 971 So. 2d 998
Cited Statutes: Rule 12(b)(6);
Date: 10/01/2010

To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) “in Florida, a cause of action for breach of contract must include allegations of [1]an existing contract, [2] breach of the contract, [3] and resulting damages.”  Mobil Oil Corp. v. Dade County Esoil Mgmt. Co. 982 F. Supp. 873, 879 (S.D. Fla. 1997); Boim v. Nat’l Data Prods., Inc. 932 F. Supp. 1402, 1405 (M.D. Fla. 1996). 

“[W]here the terms of the contract afford a party substantial discretion to promote that party’s self-interest, the duty to act in good faith nevertheless limits that party’s ability to act capriciously to contravene the reasonable contractual expectations of the other party.”  Cox v. CSX Intermodal, Inc., 732 So. 2d 1092, 1097-98 (Fla. App. 1 Dist. 1999); see Travellers Int’l, A.G. v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., 41 F.3d 1570, 1575 (2d Cir. 1994); Centomics Corp. v. Genicom Corp. 562 A.2d 187, 193 (N.H. 1989).

All that is needed “to survive a motion to dismiss, [is that] a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”  Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009).  The rules do not impose a probability requirement at the pleading stage, but instead simply call for enough fact to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of the necessary element.”  Watts v. Florida Int’l Univ., 495 F.3d 1289, 1295 (11th Cir. 2007)

It is relatively common for parties to a […]

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