Over the last several years, I've been struck by the frustration people have expressed at poor service providers in a myriad of different contexts, ranging from coatroom attendants who lost their belongings to the non-functional central monitoring of house alarm systems and defective products.
And I've also found that in most of these cases, the people had little or no idea that all of these scenarios fall within the rubric of breach of contract.
Although breach of contract claims are more commonly found in the commercial litigation and/or real estate litigation milieu, the notion that contract law is limited to this application is terribly mistaken.
What Are Some of the Lesser-Known Categories of Breach of Contract?
Consequently, in order to properly evaluate whether you may have a potential breach of contract claim, it is worth investigating the general types of breach of contract claims. While a detailed discussion of these types of claims is well beyond the scope of this (or any) blog post, three (3) of the perhaps less-known, yet commonly litigated categories of breach of contract claims are the following:
- Breach of Express Warranty or Breach of Implied Warranty - these claims are usually raised when a consumer alleges that the product she purchased or used was defective, and suffered personal injuries as a direct result. For a more in depth discussion of this topic, please see our Free eBook, "Why There Are So Few Successful Defective Products Lawsuits";
- Breach of Contract by an Insurance Company - as a general rule, this type of claim arises when they refuse to pay out on a claim, or to defend or indemnify their insured on a reported claim under the insurance policy (for more on this topic, please see "Why It May Pay to Fight An Insurer's Disclaimer"; and,
- Anticipatory Repudiation or Breach of Contract - these claims often arise in the real estate context, where one side to the agreement demonstrates that either cannot, or will not, abide by its end of the agreement - before its time to fulfill its obligations under the contract have come due. For additional information on this important type of breach of contract claim, please see our blog article, "When It's Clear The Other Side to the Contract Will Breach."
As you can readily discern from this article, there are numerous types of breach of contract claims, and these 3 do not even begin to address what are likely the most common - and most famous (or infamous) breach of contract lawsuits, which involve breach of fiduciary duty or the improper performance (or outright failure to perform) under the terms of a contract.