Am I entitled to the value of the agreed upon contract.

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Am I entitled to the value of the agreed upon contract.

I run a small construction business. On 06/05 a customer emailed me to start a small project $3000 on her house. We agreed to meet the morning of 06/07 to get started. Her materials were purchased 06/08 and my helper was lined up to meet me Friday morning. At 10:00 pm 06/08 she texted me to tell me that she met with another contractor that was cheaper and I lost this job, plus money that I paid to my helper. What can I do?

Asked on June 13, 2019 under Business Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You are entitled to:
1) Reimbursement of costs expended based on the contract; and
2) The "profit" you would have made.
The sum of 1) and 2) might not equal the total value of the contract, since you can't recover any costs you were able to avoid paying due to the breach.
Example: the contract is $3,000. You actually spent $800 on materials and $200 on your helper, or $1,000. Because you are not doing the work, you can avoid an extra $500 in labor costs since you won't be paying your helper or other workers. Your profit would have been $1,500. You can get the $1,000 you paid or spent and the $1,500 profit, but cannot recover the $500 in labor and other costs that you have not and will not incur.


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