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What should you do about an anticipatory breach in Florida?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2023 | Commercial Litigation |

When a contract hasn’t been fulfilled in Florida, it might seem unclear what you should do next. In the event of an anticipatory breach, you have a few options. One is to cancel the contract altogether. This can be done once the promisor has stated that they’ve failed to hold up their end of the deal.

Cancelling, legal action or no reaction

When a promisor has clearly stated to the promisee that they cannot meet the contract’s terms, it’s an option for the promisee to begin taking legal action before the contract’s delivery date. Promisees are in this way able to seek compensation for the damage done by the anticipatory breach of the promisor through commercial litigation. If it is found that the promiser failed to honor their contract, it gives the promisee rights to damages immediately.

Another route when faced with an anticipatory breach is not to react at all. There are various reasons why a promisee may choose not to do anything after the promisor states that they can’t fulfill their obligations in the contract. It may be due to a strong business partnership between the promisor and the promisee. Sometimes, they’re willing to let this incident slide because they want to keep doing business together.

Bilateral versus unilateral contracts

One common application of anticipatory breach is with bilateral contracts. This type of contract involves two parties agreeing to carry out their obligations by a specific date.

With bilateral contracts, it’s reasonably clear what the obligations of the promisor and the promisee are. This makes it easy to determine what would be fair compensation for damages.

Unilateral contracts, on the other hand, are a different story entirely. Calculating compensatory damages is more complex because of the vague and often incidental nature of the obligations in this type of contract. That’s why anticipatory breach is much less frequently applied in these cases.

Legal action may be in your best interest if you’re dealing with an anticipatory breach. Cancellation is usually opted for by the promisee if the promisor can’t hold up their contractual obligations because of common operational factors.