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Is specific performance the ideal solution to a contract breach?

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2022 | Breach Of Contract

Whether you are an executive at a long-established business or an entrepreneur running the first business of its kind in Michigan, contracts play a massive role in how your company operates.

You sign contracts with your customers and clients so that they know what to expect from you and you have a guarantee of payment. You sign contracts with service providers that provide you with IT support or that furnish the copy machine in your office. You may also have contracts with vendors who provide you with material goods for your business.

When another company or a contractor breaches their agreement with your company, they may leave you in a difficult position. You can suffer losses or setbacks. If they don’t resolve the matter when you bring it to their attention, you may need to take them to court. Should you request specific performance from the judge who hears your case?

How specific performance can help

If a judge rules in your favor and orders specific performance, they can potentially compel the other party to follow through with their contractual obligations to your business. Specific performance involves a judge requiring certain actions from one of the parties involved in the lawsuit.

They might require that the vendor you already paid make delivery of the goods that you did not receive. They could order a construction company to finish the remodeling work on your company’s lunch room despite them walking away when the project was only 90% complete.

Specific performance means that there is a court order pushing the other party into compliance. If they still don’t follow through, they could find themselves in contempt of court and facing even worse penalties.

The drawbacks of specific performance

When a person or business has already failed to do what is right by your company and then fought against making that up to you, you probably don’t trust them very much anymore. They might provide you with substandard materials or mediocre work. You may not believe that you will get your money’s worth from them.

On the other hand, if you hope to preserve your relationship with them, forcing them to do something that they cannot or will not right now might mean that you have to sacrifice your future working relationship with them to get the results that you want. Executives and owners trying to resolve a breach of contract issue need to think carefully about the best possible outcome and how to achieve it before taking action.