IndiaFilings » Learn » Breach of Contract

Breach of Contract

Breach of Contract

A breach of contract occurs when one of the parties of the contract do not abide by the terms of the contract. The breach in a contract happens even when there is a failure in the performance of the contract. But such breach of contract comes with some remedies which provide the aggrieved party for the damages. This article deals with the breach of a contract, its types and the remedies for breach of contract.

Types of Breach of Contract

The breach of contract is of two types. The following are its types:


Anticipation by one of the parties is the anticipatory breach. The breach will occur either expressly or through conduct. The party will intimate eventually that he or she is going to commit a breach. The aggrieved party will not have sufficient in the loss if there is compensation and if he waits for the actual breach.

Illustration: In the Hochster v. De La Tour, it was decided that if there is a rejection of the contract before the performance, then claim for the damages can be made. In accordance with that, De la Tour agrees to employ Hochster as their for 3 months. De La Tour appoints Hochster in April to start work from June. But De La Tour withdraws the appointment by May. Hochster sues them. De La Tour argues that Hochster is under the terms or obligation, stating that he should be ready to perform until the 3 months is due. But Lord Campbell CJ dismisses the argument and awards Hochster with the damages.


The refusal to abide by the contract is an actual breach. If one of the party withdraws to perform before the due date or if he performs incompletely, then he commits a breach.

Illustration: Poussard was to perform opera in the London run for 3 months. The producers found a substitute when she was ill. The producers refuse to take her back when she returned. The court was with the producers as it discovered their defence justifiably. The court did not award her with the damages. The contract claims that she must perform from the first day. Failure to oblige by the contract made the producers reject her contract.

Remedies for the Breach of Contract

Suit for Rescission

if one party breaches the contract, then the other party need not oblige to the contract. The contract stands cancelled if the aggrieved party cancels it. The aggrieved party can file for the damages. Generally, the suit for the damages accompanies the cancellation of the contract by the aggrieved party. This suit is for obtaining the damages of the breach.

Suit for Injunction

A restraint order from the court is an injunction. The court has the power to restrain a person from doing a certain act. If the defendant does something that he should not perform, then the aggrieved party can file a suit for injunction. This shall be temporary or permanent.

Suit for Specific Performance

A remedy which is given by the court to both parties to perform according to the contract. This is one of the most common suits. The aggrieved party will not receive adequate relief of the monetary compensation.

Suit for Quantum Meruit

Quantum Meruit for contracts means the reasonable value of services. If a person hires someone and the contract is incomplete or un-performable, then the employer can sue the defendant for the services and the value of improvements made. The law states that the employer has to pay the employee an amount that he deserves for his services. If the employee is under an express contract for a specific amount, then he cannot abandon the contract and suit for the Quantum Meruit.

Suit for Damages

General Damages or Ordinary Damages: The damages that come naturally through a breach. The aggrieved party must prove the damages and also the amount of the damages in the suit.

Liquidated Damages and Penalty: Some contract addresses the issue of breaching its consequences and also its penalty. If such a contract breaks then the party causing the breach should pay the stipulated amount mentioned in the contract to the other party. The amount is reasonable compensation, and it should not exceed the amount given in the contract. The parties should not have obstacles to make provisions of the liquidated damages.

Special Damages: The aggrieved party must prove the special loses to claim the special damages.

Exemplary or Vindictive Damages: This claim is for the mental suffering or emotional suffering, such suffering can also be due to the breach. Generally, the court takes care of such damages.

Nominal Damages: A remedy is provided for the breach, which was not there in the actual. It gives a small remedy, and it is more technical than the actual.