You can, but you should make sure that you have all the elements met and understand what litigation entails.
Contract litigation can be messy, especially without a well-drafted contract.
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Many employers and employees sign contracts for a variety of things – services, products, software, employment, vendors, etc.
So what do you do if the other party isn’t holding up their end of the deal?
First, it is essential that you fully understand your contract. If you fully negotiated your contract with an attorney, the terms should be clear regarding what happens when a breach occurs.
Is there a cure period for the other party to fix any issues? Can you terminate? Are their liquidated damages?
Make sure your attorney walks you through the various contract terms and implications.
There may be dispute resolution terms in your contract, so before filing a lawsuit, make sure you know what remedies are set out in the agreement.
Next, you need to understand the elements.
To prove a breach of contract claim, a party to the contract needs to show:
- A contract existed,
- The other party breached the contract, and
- The breach caused damages.
However, in Michigan, the law is that the party who committed the first substantial breach of contract cannot sue the other party for failure to perform. This means that you can’t allege breach, if you substantially breached first.
Walk your attorney through the breach and the damages that you are experiencing so they can help you draft an adequate complaint (the document that starts the lawsuit).
Finally, if you are accused of breaching a contract, contact your attorney immediately.
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