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Specific Performance: Solution to Your New York Breach of Contract?


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1/1/2016
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Sometimes, a large financial award is not the best way to remedy a New York breach of contract. In these cases, forcing the guilty party to fulfill the contract may be better for the victim. This is especially true when it is difficult to calculate the damages that will be incurred as a result of the breach. A recent example of such a case is the lawsuit involving retailers Macy’s, J.C. Penney, and Martha Stewart Living. In its complaint, Macy’s alleges that J.C. Penney induced Martha Stewart to breach its contract with Macy’s. That agreement provided that Macy’s would have an exclusive right to sell certain Martha Stewart products. Instead, Martha Stewart Living recently entered into a similar agreement with J.C. Penney, giving the retailer the right to sell certain of its products. The parties can only make an educated guess as to how many sales Macy’s would lose out on as a result of this breach.

Fortunately for companies like Macy’s, a court can order specific performance when an award of money is not sufficient to protect the injured party in a breach of contract. This type of relief requires the party that committed the breach to fulfill its end of the agreement. Under New York contract law, specific performance can be awarded under the following circumstances:

  • When the amount of damages is difficult to determine
  • When the subject matter of the contract is unique
  • When there is a lack of established market value

Macy’s may be able to prove that the damages it will suffer as a result of the breach of contract in New York are difficult to calculate. If so, the company could request that the court force Martha Stewart Living to uphold its end of the contract, which would require the retailer to cancel its agreement with J.C. Penney.

If you are the party to a contract and the other side is not upholding its end of the agreement, contact an experienced New York breach of contract lawyer for guidance. Call our office today at (888) 497-3410 for a free consultation. 



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