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Is a missed deadline really a minor contract breach?

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2023 | Civil Litigation

In some cases, contract breaches will be divided into two categories. Some are minor breaches and others are material breaches. While it is often recognized that a material breach is a major issue – such as getting a shipment of the wrong parts and materials – minor breaches are not given quite as much attention.

A common example of a minor contract breach is when a due date is missed. Perhaps your parts and materials supplier did deliver what they were supposed to deliver, but they were a few days late. Is this really a minor issue?

It could have a major impact

Even small issues like this can have a significant impact on a company. It could cost that business a lot of money, which is when the owner of the company that suffered the breach may seek legal action.

To continue with the hypothetical example of parts and materials arriving late, say that a shipment was supposed to arrive on a Thursday, but it didn’t show up until the next Tuesday. Those parts and materials were needed to create products – some of which may have already been sold in advance, so the orders have to be filled.

It’s true that missing the deadline may not be as serious as if the delivery never arrived, but it can still significantly hold the company back. Orders may be canceled by consumers. Stock may not make it to the shelves in time to be sold. A tremendous amount of money could be lost in potential sales, all because that shipment arrived late.

In other words, don’t assume that any breach of contract is minor. It could be significant, and you need to know what legal steps to take.