Breach of Contract Lawyers Assisting Businesses in Chicago With Business Disputes
When businesses enter into contracts, they often do so to create a measure of security around the provision of goods or services. Contracts typically contain such details as delivery dates, the duration of the agreement, and the quantity and quality of products or services to be provided. Any variance from the terms may cause harm to a non-breaching party. Unfortunately, a breach of contract is a common reason for commercial litigation between entities in Chicago or other Cook County cities. The Voelker Litigation Group has decades of experience litigating these cases.
What is a Breach of Contract?
A breach of contract occurs when a party to a valid, enforceable contract fails to perform a term of the contract. In Illinois, when trying to prove breach of contract, you must establish the existence of a valid and enforceable contract, performance by the plaintiff, a breach by the defendant, and damages to the plaintiff. A non-breaching party usually sues in order to recover damages that, as much as possible, put the non-breaching party back in the position in which it would have been had the contract been performed.
Must be in Writing if More than $500
Illinois adopted the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) with detailed rules for contracts related to the sale and lease of goods, securities, and letters of credit, among other things. Under 810 ILCS 5/2-201, except as otherwise provided, any contract for a sale of goods worth $500 or more must be in writing and signed by the breaching party to be enforceable against that party. If the court finds some aspect of the contract unconscionable at the time the contract was made, the court can refuse to enforce the contract in whole or just with regard to the unconscionable clause.
Obligation of Good Faith
In addition to the express terms of the agreement, every Illinois contract that falls under the UCC imposes an obligation of good faith in both performance and enforcement of the contract. In a lawsuit, terms included in what is intended to be the final written expression of a contract cannot be contradicted by evidence of prior agreements or contemporaneous oral agreements. However, they can be explained or supplemented.
The UCC mandates that all remedies be liberally administered such that the aggrieved party is put in as good a position as if there had been full performance by the other party. Consequential, special and punitive damages can only be had to the extent they are specifically provided for by law.
Recover Damages Due to Breach of Contract
Breaches of contract can cause substantial damages to a non-breaching buyer, who may then have to “cover” or make a good faith purchase of goods to substitute for those that were supposed to be supplied by a seller. If the buyer needs to cover, it can potentially recover as damages the difference between the contract price and the cost of cover, plus incidental or consequential damages as defined by code, minus any expenses saved due to the breach. However, a buyer’s failure to cover does not bar it from pursuing another remedy.
Multiple Remedies May Apply to Breach of Contract
Depending on the circumstances, multiple remedies may be possible, including:
- Specific performance, in which the other party is ordered to follow the terms of the contract;
- Liquidated damages as specified in the contract terms;
- Cancellation of the contract and restitution or repayment; and
- Compensatory damages.
Retain a Breach of Contract Lawyer for a Business Contract Dispute
Most businesses and individuals in Chicago and Illinois benefit from having attorneys on their side in a breach of contract dispute. At the Voelker Litigation Group, our lawyers provide experienced representation in breach of contract cases.