Q: Can I bring a breach of contract claim in New York against someone that is not a party to the contract?
Ordinarily, the answer to this question is no. In order to be held liable for breach of contract in New York, the defendant must be a party to the agreement. New York courts have held that no one should have to be held accountable for breaching a contract aside from those who entered into the agreement. There are exceptions to this general rule, however. If you are wondering whether you might have a breach of contract claim against someone who was not a party to your agreement, it is vital that you contact an experienced New York breach of contract attorney for guidance. Your legal professional can help to assess the facts and circumstances surrounding the breach of your agreement to determine who might be a responsible party.
When reviewing your matter and determining whether you might qualify for an exception to the general rule that only parties to a contract can be held liable for a breach, your attorney will likely consider the following:
- Does the breach of contract involve personal injury?
- Does the breach of contract involve negligence?
- Did the defendant create an unreasonable risk of harm to others?
- Was the defendant engaged in actions that discharged obligations under the contract?
- Did the plaintiff reasonably rely on the defendant’s continued performance of the obligations under the contract?
- Was the plaintiff injured as a result of this reliance?
- Did the defendant take over the contracting party’s duty to maintain the premises safely?
Fully understanding when and how these exceptions apply requires a knowledgeable attorney familiar with this area of the law. To learn more about bringing a claim for breach of contract, contact a New York business litigation attorney today. Call our office at (888) 497-3410 for a consultation.