Wick & Trautwein, LLC
Call Today
Toll Free
Broad Based Experienced Legal Help Since 1972

Creative Solutions, Exceptional Results

The law firm of Wick & Trautwein, LLC, has a long history of partnerships with the people and businesses of northern Colorado and southern Wyoming

What is a material breach of contract?

A promise that isn't kept can cause more than disappointment for a Larimer County business. Let's say you own a company that manufactures model airplanes. The wing supplier consistently delivers on time, but the engine supplier repeatedly makes excuses for late shipments, costing you money and damaging your reputation with distributors and retailers.

The engine supplier promised delivery by a certain date every month but hasn't lived up to the commitment. Meanwhile, your assembly workers are standing idle waiting for a delayed engine shipment to arrive. You put up with a few delays and then expressed concerns when the late pattern failed to change, but the engines regularly continued to arrive late.

A Colorado civil court could decide the engine supplier is liable for a breach of contract if the plaintiff shows the supplier had no valid reason for violating the terms of a business contract. Before an award is made, a judge would determine whether a contract and excuses to break the agreement were valid and examine the contract terms. A court also would assess any damages caused by the broken promise and decide whether the breach was minor or material in nature.

A minor breach involves a party's failure to live up to a contract without depriving the non-breaching party of the promised goods or services. The late supplier from our earlier example may be responsible for a minor breach, since the manufacturer eventually did receive the engines. However, the breach might be more serious depending on the shipping provisions outlined in the companies' agreement.

In material contract breaches, the non-breaching party does not receive the goods or services promised. Damages for minor breaches may be limited to losses caused by a contract violation. Material breaches release non-breaching parties from contractual obligations and allow them to pursue additional compensation.

Evaluations of breach complaints are conducted by contract dispute attorneys.

Source: Judicial Education Center, The University of New Mexico, "What constitutes a breach of contract?," accessed April. 01, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Watch More Videos

We Take Your
Emails Seriously

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Wick & Trautwein, LLC BBB Business Review
FindLaw Network
Firm Locations
Wick & Trautwein, LLC
323 South College Avenue #3
Fort Collins, CO 80524

Phone: 970-237-5694
Toll Free: 866-686-1410
Fax: 970-482-8929
Fort Collins Law Office Map
Wick & Trautwein, LLC
513 Big Thompson Ave
Estes Park, CO 80517

Located in Lower Stanley Village
Phone: 970-586-3505
Fax: 970-586-3269
Estes Park Law Office Map

Windsor Office
(by appointment only)
421 Main Street
Windsor, CO 80535
Toll Free: 866-686-1410
Map and Directions