Construction Law

Impossibility of Performance: A Defense Against a Breach of Contract

In construction, anything can happen, even with careful planning. As Jacksonville construction lawyers, we know the risks construction professionals face in order to see a project through to completion. Sometimes, circumstances are beyond a contractor’s control which can still lead to an incomplete project and possibly a contract’s termination. Is there legal recourse for this? In this article, we’ll discuss impossibility of performance as a defense against a breach of contract.

Breach of Contract

A breach of contract occurs if any of the contract parties violate the terms of the contract. A breach can be “material” which is a serious breach or “non-material” which is less severe. Typically, the party that hasn’t breached the contract is released of their contractual obligations. If after signing a written contract, and in some cases agreeing to a verbal contract, the terms of the contract become difficult to comply with, the impossibility of performance defense may be applicable to your situation.

What is Impossibility of Performance?

An impossibility of performance is when the duties and contractual obligations of one or more parties cannot be fulfilled under normal circumstances. There are two types of impossibility of performance:

  • A subjective impossibility occurs when one of the parties can’t perform but someone else can perform the duty instead.
  • An objective impossibility occurs when it is impossible for anyone to perform the duties of the contract.

Factors that may lead to an impossibility of performance may include serious injury, illness, or death. Other reasons that performance may be impossible include weather conditions, natural disasters, and legislated law changes that affect the project.

How to Prove Impossibility of Performance?

With the assistance of a Jacksonville construction attorney, you can defend yourself against a breach of contract. You can also address performance issues prior to any event that occurs by designating the responsible party. It’s important to note that events have to be unforeseen and severe. In regards to objective impossibility, you must prove that not only was performance impossible for the contractual party, but that it is impossible for any person to perform.

To request a consultation with one of our knowledgeable Jacksonville construction attorneys, please call us today at 904.425.5030 or submit our contact request form.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.