Breach of Contract
When businesses enter into contracts, they often do so in order to create some 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 goods 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.Breaches of Contracts for Sales and Goods
A breach of contract occurs when a party to a valid, enforceable contract fails to perform a term of it. 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 plaintiff back in the position in which it would have been had the contract been performed.
The Uniform Commercial Code was adopted by Illinois. It has 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.
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 must be liberally administered such that the party that is aggrieved 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.
Breaches of contract can cause substantial damages to a non-breaching buyer, who may then have to "cover." Covering means making a good faith purchase to substitute goods 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.
Depending on the circumstances, there may be a number of remedies, 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.
Most entities in Chicago or elsewhere benefit from having attorneys on their side in a business dispute such as a breach of a contract. At the Voelker Litigation Group, our Chicago breach of contract lawyers provide experienced representation in many types of commercial litigation matters. Call us at 312-870-5430 or get in touch with us via our online form. We represent clients throughout Cook County, such as in Palatine, Schaumburg, Glencoe, and Skokie, as well as in Kane County communities like Decatur and Elgin. Our firm also has handled business disputes in other states, including California, Wisconsin, and Florida.