Under what conditions can a signed contract be invalidated?

UPDATED: Oct 5, 2011

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Under what conditions can a signed contract be invalidated?

I pay for someone to feed and supervise my horse on a monthly basis. I signed a contract almost 3 years ago to give a 30 day notice when moving that horse away from that facility. As a climax to lack of care and supervision of my horse as of late the business owner and his wife left for out of state for 1 week without putting out hay (that was promised). The horses are hungry and pushing through bad fencing; 1one got out onto a busy highway. I had no choice but to move my horse right away for his safety and food needs. The business owner threatening court for the money owed with out giving a 30 day notice.

Asked on October 5, 2011 under Business Law, Missouri

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the business owner for breach of contract for failure to feed and take care of your horse by leaving for a week without leaving hay and not maintaining the fence in an appropriate condition to prevent horses from pushing through the fence and getting out onto the busy highway.

All of these items are material breaches of the contract by the business owner because they go to the heart of the contract; feeding and taking care of your horse.

When there is a material breach of contract by one party (the business owner), the other party (you) can sue for breach of contract without performing your  obligations under the contract such as giving thirty days notice  before moving the horse away from the facility.  You can sue the business owner for breach of contract without tendering your performance (giving the 30 days notice).

Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) could include vet bills for injury to the horse caused by the business owner's failure to feed and take care of the horse, the cost of moving the horse to another facility and/or consequential and incidental damages which means costs you incurred due to the business owner's breach of contract.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by not seeking to incur the most expensive costs in this matter or your damages will be reduced accordingly.  To mitigate damages, the costs you incur should be reasonable.


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