Affirmative Defenses to Breach of Contract

By Myers Longhofer, LLC
Businessman tearing contract

A breach of contract occurs when one party fails to fulfill the obligations outlined in a contract. This could be anything from not delivering goods on time to failing to pay for services rendered. When this happens, the injured party often has the right to seek legal remedies such as damages or specific performance. But what if there were valid reasons for the breach? That's where affirmative defenses come into play.  

Our steadfast team at Myers Longhofer, LLC is committed to breaking down the intricacies of legal issues for our clients. One such issue that often surfaces in our practice is breach of contract and its defenses. These are not mere legal terminologies but significant factors that can impact the outcome of contract disputes. 

At our firm, located in Overland Park, Kansas, we're not just your attorneys; we're your partners in understanding and addressing these legal matters. We're here to offer guidance, shed light on affirmative defenses to breach of contract, and help you assert your rights effectively. It's our mission to empower you with knowledge and provide robust representation. We serve clients throughout Kansas City, Missouri, and Johnson County, Olathe, Leawood, and Shawnee, Kansas. Through our personalized approach, we aim to put you in the strongest possible position in any contract dispute. 

Affirmative Defenses to Breach of Contract  

Affirmative defenses are essentially 'excuses' that a breaching party can use to escape liability. Here are some commonly used ones: 

Impossibility of Performance  

We sometimes find ourselves in situations where fulfilling contractual obligations becomes impossible due to unforeseen circumstances. For instance, let's say you've signed a contract to host an outdoor event in a picturesque park, but a sudden natural disaster, like a powerful storm or an unexpected earthquake, strikes just a day before the scheduled date. The venue is severely damaged, making it unfeasible and unsafe to proceed with the event.  

In such cases, the impossibility of performance due to uncontrollable external factors beyond your control could be used as an affirmative defense to mitigate any potential legal implications. It is crucial to communicate promptly with all parties involved and explore alternative solutions or seek legal advice to navigate such challenging situations effectively.

Duress or Coercion  

It’s crucial that contracts are willingly entered into by all parties involved. When a person is forced or coerced into signing a contract against their will, they have the right to claim duress as an affirmative defense. This defense asserts that the contract should be considered void due to the undue pressure or influence exerted upon the individual during the signing process. By recognizing and addressing instances of duress in contract law, the legal system aims to protect individuals from unfair and unjust agreements.

Fraud or Misrepresentation  

Honesty is not only a virtue but also the cornerstone of any contract. When entering into an agreement, it is critical to ensure that all parties involved provide accurate and truthful information. However, if a party intentionally misrepresents facts or acts dishonestly to persuade you to sign a contract, you may have grounds to claim fraud or misrepresentation as an affirmative defense. This legal recourse allows you to protect your rights and seek justice in situations where deceit or falsehoods have been employed. By upholding the principles of honesty and integrity in contractual agreements, we can foster a fair and just business environment.

Statute of Limitations  

Every legal action has a time limit, known as the statute of limitations. This means that if a party waits too long to sue for a breach of contract, the other party can use the expiration of the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense. The statute of limitations varies depending on the type of legal action and jurisdiction.  

It is important for parties involved in a contract to be aware of these time limits and take timely action to protect their rights and interests. By understanding the significance of the statute of limitations, individuals can make informed decisions and ensure that they are not barred from seeking legal remedies due to the passage of time.

How Myers Longhofer, LLC Can Help  

At our firm, we're committed to helping you understand and assert your rights in business litigation. If you're facing a breach of contract case, we can guide you through your options, including the potential affirmative defenses that might be available to you. We're here to help you make informed decisions every step of the way. 

Knowing the ins and outs of breach of contract and its affirmative defenses is crucial in the business landscape of today. At Myers Longhofer, LLC, we're dedicated to providing you with the knowledge and representation you need to protect your interests. Reach out to us today at our Overland Park, Kansas, location. We're ready to stand with you and find a solution that works for you and your business.