Breach of contract can happen by a party intentionally breaching the contract or because of unexpected delays. In this paper I will discuss the contract my brother had with an in home appliance sales company. My brother and his wife purchased all of their appliances for their new home from an appliance company. The written agreement was that payment for the appliances was to be made upon delivery of all appliances that were purchased.
On the date of delivery, the delivery men had explained that the over the stove microwave would not be delivered until the following week. When the delivery men were finished unloading the appliances that did come, they asked my brother for payment of the delivered products. My brother refused to pay the delivery men for the appliances and said he would pay as soon as the rest was delivered. The delivery men tried to argue that they needed payment for the stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer before they could leave.
My brother showed them the written agreement between himself and the appliance company, the delivery men accepted that and took his signature for the delivered appliances and left. Breach of contract is defined as “when a party to a contract refuses to perform as required by the contract or performs in an unsatisfactory manner (Liuzzo & Bonnice 2010, p. 500)”. Applying this definition to my example, I would say that the appliance company unsatisfactorily performed the contract and caused a breach.
Had all the appliances been delivered on the same day, payment would have been made and the contract would have met substantial performance requirements. But, since one appliance was missing, the contract for payment at delivery is void. Payment can be made when the last appliance is delivered. The appliance company made a phone call to my brother upon delivery of the unpaid, signed, delivery ticket. The manager explained that the appliances were to be paid for upon delivery.
My brother pointed out the inferior performance of the agreement and stated that the contract was written that payment was to be made upon delivery of all appliances and since the last one hadn’t been delivered, he didn’t have to pay until it was completed. The manager had himself been the one to sign that agreement and thought that he could “pull a fast one” on my brother. Once pointed out to the manager that my brother was aware of the contract and the breach, he said that the last appliance would be delivered the next day and that payment was expected for all appliances at that time.
Well, unfortunately for my brother, it was two days later when the last appliance was delivered. Since the appliance company breached contract, my brother was not obligated to pay them, but he did upon delivery of the last appliance. So, my brother in turn, accepted the late delivery and paid his money. By doing this, he could no longer go back on his part of the contract and ask for the money back due to inferior performance of contract.
If the appliance company had continued not delivering the last appliance, my brother could have kept appliances that were delivered and after a period of time went by; he could have sued for breach of contract and demanded delivery of the last appliance. But like stated above, since he did pay the money owed when the last appliance was delivered, the contract was ratified and he could no longer fight a breach of contract suit. References Liuzzo, A. Bonnice, J. (2010) Essentials of business law 6th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill.