A breach of contract is any action or inaction that results in the contract being broken. One party breaches the contract by not fulfilling their obligations under the contract. A breach of contract can be anticipatory, material, or minor.
What Is a Minor Breach?
A minor breach occurs when a party to the contract fails to perform a part of a contract. The failure is so small and and of such a nonessential part that all parties can otherwise fulfill any remaining contractual obligations.
How Is a Minor Breach Different from a Material Breach?
A material breach fundamentally breaks the agreement because the breaching party fails to fulfill an important part of the contract or otherwise makes it impossible for the contract to be completed. A minor breach is less serious because it does not prohibit the parties from satisfactorily completing the rest of the contract. For example, a homeowner hires an electrician to install a lighting system with a specific brand of wiring. If the electrician fails to install the lighting system, it is a material breach. If the electrician installs the lighting, but uses a different brand of wiring than the brand requested, it is a minor breach.
Can I Sue for a Minor Breach?
Yes. The non-breaching party may sue for a minor breach. The lawsuit must be for any damages that was caused by the failure to perform the minor detail.
Do I Have to Complete Performance If the Breach Was Minor?
Yes. A minor breach requires all parties to complete their obligated performance, or non-performance, of the contract. The only time a party does not have to perform its part of the contract is when a material breach occurs. The non-breaching party in a material breach is freed from any obligation to complete their part of the contract and can sue for damages.
Should I Discuss the Minor Breach with a Lawyer?
While not as severe as a material breach, a minor breach can still result in serious damages. To understand more about a minor breach, talk to a business lawyer. The lawyer will explain your rights and options to sue or remedy the situation.