Businesses in Kentucky frequently enter into contracts as a routine part of their operations. While contracts are designed to benefit both parties involved, disputes can sometimes arise. When a business is sued for breaching a contract, it is still possible to defend against an alleged breach. Careful research into the circumstances and the law might allow businesses to prevail when they have been sued. There are several ways to defend against contract breach claims that are detailed below.
Fraud, duress, or undue influence
Businesses can defend against alleged contract breaches when the plaintiff engaged in fraud, duress, or undue influence. Fraud might be raised as a defense when the plaintiff deliberately made material misrepresentations or concealed material facts to get the business to enter into the contract. In some cases, a business owner might have been threatened by the plaintiff into signing the contract. When that has occurred, the business owner might defend against the breach of contract claim by raising a defense of duress. Undue influence is a defense that can be raised when there is an unequal power structure between the business and the plaintiff. When the plaintiff is more powerful, the business might have been unduly influenced to agree to the contract.
Mutual mistake or statute of limitations
In some cases, both contracting parties make mistakes. When that happens, the defendant can defend against the alleged contract breach. Many cases also involve statute of limitations issues. If the other party files a claim after the expiration of the limitation period, the claim can be dismissed.
Business owners might believe that they have limited recourse when they are sued for breaching contracts. However, several defenses might be available. An experienced business law attorney might carefully analyze the contract, the facts, and the circumstances to identify the potential defenses that might be raised.