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What Is an Affirmative Defense to a Breach of Contract Claim?

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Disputes are common in the construction industry and can occur with any parties involved in the project including owners, suppliers, subcontractors, and employees. Litigation is complex. If you’re a contractor and someone is claiming that you’ve breached a contract with them, you need to be aware of legal defenses at your disposal. A Nashville construction litigation attorney can give you valuable counsel on your unique situation.

The plaintiff claiming that the breach of contract occurred has the duty to prove the contract was valid, you did not perform as agreed, and any harm or losses that occurred because of the breach of contract. That leaves your lawyer to raise the appropriate defenses for you.

Affirmative Defenses

Defenses to a breach of contract claim are mainly affirmative defenses. If the dispute goes to trial, the person being sued has the duty of proving their defense. This kind of defense does not argue that the primary claims of the person alleging the breach of contract are false. Instead, the affirmative defense presents facts or situations to bring the validity of the contract into question. These defenses often boil down to the plaintiff admitting a breach of contract while the defendant’s claim is refuted due to an invalid contract.

Possible defenses include:

  • Unconscionability: the contract is severely imbalanced and takes advantage of the defendant
  • Mistake: if there is a mistake in the terms of the contract it may render the contract void
  • Duress: if the defendant was forced into a contract they would not have entered into otherwise
  • Impossibility: something happens after the contract is signed that makes the completion of the contract impossible
  • Substantial completion: if the duties outlined in the contract have been largely performed

Litigation Attorneys in Nashville

Every breach of contract case is different. A knowledgeable construction attorney can help you understand the best defenses for your case, provide counsel, and defend you aggressively. They can also work with you to prevent future contract issues by offering contract review and drafting services.

If you would like to speak with our Nashville construction litigation attorneys, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.