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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 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.


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