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Material breaches versus minor breaches

Business owners in Georgia who deal with contracts may also have to deal with contract breaches at some point. The two types of breaches that you should be aware of are called material breaches and minor breaches, which can also be known as partial breaches.

The National Paralegal College defines both material and minor breaches, stating that in essence, a minor breach is a lesser offense. Minor breaches are only partial breaches in which the person suffering damages can sue, but has to continue the contract work. These breaches are small and tend to encompass the violation of only a few portions of the contract, rather than the entire contract or key components of the contract. 

Lexology states that material breaches are more severe and are usually dealt a heavier punishing hand accordingly. When facing a material breach in contract, the person who suffers damages has the right to sue the party that broke the contract. Additionally, the sufferer is generally excused from any work or performance that they were bound to give while under the contract without facing any penalties that might usually result, because they did not break the contract first.

It should be noted, however, that material breaches do not have a special meaning in English courts. While there have been attempts at equating it to repudiatory breaches, the courts rejected this proposal. As such, anyone who believes they have suffered from a material breach in contract should go into the legal battle with this knowledge under their belt.

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