If I took on a web design project but didn’t deliver anything or am very behind schedule, what is the client’s legal recourse?

UPDATED: Jul 28, 2013

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If I took on a web design project but didn’t deliver anything or am very behind schedule, what is the client’s legal recourse?

They feel as if I never had any intention on delivering as promised. Phase 1 of the project is still incomplete and 3 weeks past deadline. The 3rd and final stage is too be completed 4 weeks from now. A $500 deposit was paid up front by the client for work to commence. A full refund was offered to dissolve the relationship, but to no avail. Now being threatened by clients legal counsel.

Asked on July 28, 2013 under Business Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If there was an agreement (whether written or oral/verbal) to perform work and you have breached the agreement by not performing the work on schedule), the other party could sue you for their losses caused by your breach--for example, if they have had to pay more to have the work done or product created by someone else, or lost a contract or business because the work was not done on time, etc. They are not limited to getting the deposit back (unless the contract said that was all they could get in the event of a breach), but rather may seek any/all of their losses.

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