Someone who has been sued for breach of contract in Ohio may have some legal recourse, depending on the situation. Although terms of a contract are usually concrete, there are sometimes valid reasons why they are not able to be met.
According to the Ohio State Bar Association, a breach of contract occurs when one of the parties does not fulfill the requirements of the contract to an acceptable standard. A breach can be material or minor, and a lawsuit can only be filed if a material breach occurred. There are a number of legal reasons that a defendant may use in defense of not carrying out contract terms. They include:
- Statute of limitations deadline – a claim must be filed within a certain timeframe in order to be valid
- Inaccuracy – if there was an inaccurate belief or mistake in regard to the meaning of the terms, the contract may be cancelled, but this defense is hard to prove
- Impossibility – legitimate unforeseen circumstances prevented the work from being completed
- Misrepresentation – the contract may be cancelled if the other party concealed or misrepresented a fact of the terms
If defense is not sufficient, the one who breached the contract will more than likely be responsible for payback of some kind. FindLaw states there is a variety of damages they may be responsible for including compensatory, liquidated and nominal. Punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant, are rare in business contract litigations. The court may order specific performance if damages are not adequate, and this usually occurs in unique situations.