Contracts are the glue of commerce and everyday life, providing a framework for agreements between parties. Unfortunately, not all contracts are honored as intended, leading to disputes that may require legal intervention. Below, I dive into the basics of breach of contract claims under Ohio law, helping you to understand your rights and options when contractual obligations are not met.
To establish a breach of contract claim, it’s essential first to have a valid contract. A valid contract typically includes an offer, acceptance, and consideration (something of value exchanged).
Ohio law recognizes both oral and written contracts. However, some contracts must be in writing to be enforceable under the Statute of Frauds, such as contracts for the sale of real property or contracts that cannot be performed within one year. There are two primary types of breaches: material breach, which is a significant failure to fulfill contractual obligations that go to the heart of the contract, and minor breach, or failures that do not substantially impair the contract’s purpose.
There are several remedies to a breach of contract claim, although this depends on the nature of the breach and the verbiage a written contract may contain. These remedies include compensatory damages, specific performance (to compel the breaching party to fulfill their contractual obligations), and rescission to cancel the contract and restore parties to their pre-contractual position. As of June 2021, the statute of limitations for breach of contract claims requires parties to assert claims for written contracts within six years after the cause of action accrues. Claims involving oral contracts must be brought within four years from when the claim accrues. Initiating legal action within these time frames is essential to preserve your rights.
Breach of contract claims under Ohio law can be intricate, and success depends on a clear understanding of contract principles, specific circumstances, and applicable legal strategies. If you are in a contractual dispute, please seek legal advice immediately to protect your interests and explore potential remedies. Understanding the fundamentals of Ohio’s breach of contract laws is the first step toward achieving a fair resolution.
If you need assistance navigating a breach of contract claim, contact Morgan A. Schweighoefer for more information at 216-621-7860.