As a subcontractor currently under contract with a landscape company, can I terminate my contract if the business relationship went sour?

UPDATED: Feb 14, 2012

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As a subcontractor currently under contract with a landscape company, can I terminate my contract if the business relationship went sour?

Can I cancel a contract with a landscape contractor simply because the business relationship has gone sour? I have a voice mail from him that could be determined as slander. Can he force me to continue working for him?

Asked on February 14, 2012 under Business Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It doesn't matter if the relationship is "sour" so long as the other side is honoring its committments under the contract. If it is, then you are still bound by the contract.

Even if you were indeed slandered by the other side, the contract would almost certainly remain enforceable, though you might have a case or claim for slander at the same time. However, a voice mail left for you is not slander or defamation, no matter how untrue, negative, insulting, etc. Defamation (slander is form of defamation) occurs only when an untrue statement of fact (and so, not an opinion) which damages the reputation is made to third parties. It is not defamation to say something directly to you--you cannot be defamed to yourself. So if the voice mail was to/for you, there cannot be defamation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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