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Comparing Legal and Equitable Remedies for Breach of Contract in Florida

Florida business owners may not be surprised to learn that Business News Daily lists breach of contract as one of the top grounds for business litigation in the US. You have probably been on one side of a contract dispute at some point, even if the disagreement did not result in a lawsuit. Considering the frequency of breach of contract lawsuits, it makes sense to become familiar with what remedies you can seek as the aggrieved party – and what you could face if you were the one that breached.

In general, the remedies available in a breach of contract case fall into two categories. Your Clearwater business litigation attorney can explain how they apply to your situation, but the following description should be helpful.

Legal Remedies

When an aggrieved party is looking to recoup financial losses suffered from a breach of contract, the remedy is legal in nature. The most common types include:

  • Compensatory Damages: This is the most common recourse for breach, where a party wants sufficient funds to put it in the same position as if the contract was fully performed. Compensatory damages cover any additional amounts expended in pursuit of getting the benefit of the contractual bargain.
  • Restitution: The best way to describe this type of legal remedy for breach is using the term “refund.” The party that breached must pay the other back any amounts forwarded before the breach occurred.
  • Liquidated Damages: Some contracts include a provision that defines the amount that a breaching party must pay to the other. As long as liquidated damages are fair and have a reasonable connection to the losses the aggrieved party suffers, a court will typically enforce the contractual language.

Equitable Remedies

In a case where monetary damages cannot adequately compensate the aggrieved party for losses associated with a breach of contract, it may be possible to pursue equitable remedies. Instead of a dollar amount, a court would order that the breaching party do or not do some act. Examples of equitable relief include:

  • Specific Performance: A court may force the party in breach to deliver the goods or provide services as promised in the contract. Specific performance is usually an appropriate remedy when the subject of the contract is unique.
  • Rescission: At times, the best remedy for the aggrieved party is to simply cancel the contract and return to the status quo. Both parties are free from all contractual obligations.
  • Reformation: This equitable remedy involves rewriting the contract so that both parties can perform their modified obligations. It is possible to reform a contract in full or in part to achieve the desired objectives.

A Clearwater, FL Business Litigation Lawyer Can Explain Your Options

While breach of contract litigation is a common occurrence for many Florida business owners, it does help you understand what types of legal and equitable remedies are available. For more information on what to expect in such a lawsuit, please contact Clearwater Business Law. You can schedule a consultation with one of our contract dispute attorneys by calling (727) 785-5100. Our team serves clients throughout Pinellas County, so we are prepared to advise you.