What to Do When a Contract Is Terminated Without Proper Notice
Many contracts contain a provision that requires notice, usually in writing, to be given in advance of terminating the agreement (commonly known as a “notice period”).
Failure to provide the contractually-required notice can lead to a lawsuit.
Failure by either party to provide the contractually-required notice can result in a breach of contract. If the contract breach results in damages—such as a party not being paid during the notice period—the damaged party may be able to recover their financial losses by filing a breach of contract lawsuit.
The Business Trial Group recently resolved a pair of cases involving Florida companies that breached their agreements to provide our clients at least 60 days’ notice of termination of their employment contracts. In each case, our client was not paid for the notice period and filed a breach of contract lawsuit to recover their losses.
Our business attorneys handle all contract dispute lawsuits on a contingency-fee basis. Importantly, in a breach of contract action for unpaid wages or benefits, it is also possible to recover your attorneys’ fees from the other party.
Breach of Employment Contract for Florida Veterinary Hospital Administrator
In May 2016, our client and a veterinary hospital located in Bonita Springs, Florida entered into an employment agreement for our client to serve as the veterinary hospital administrator. As part of the agreement, the parties promised to only terminate the contract upon at least 60 days’ notice.
For approximately one year, our client fully performed his work duties and helped the animal hospital grow its reputation and business. In March 2017, however, the hospital unilaterally terminated its employment agreement with our client without notice.
Realizing that it had violated the agreement, the hospital then requested our client’s resignation. He agreed to this—provided that he receive his 60-day severance pay and reimbursement for his out-of-pocket expenses. The animal hospital, however, reneged on its end of the bargain, rejecting our client’s letter of resignation in exchange for severance pay.
The animal hospital also ignored federal law by not providing our client with notice of his right to elect COBRA continuation health coverage, a violation that could carry civil penalties of up to $100 per day.
Importantly, failing to pay our client his salary, benefits, and expense reimbursement in accordance with the employment agreement entitled our client to attorneys’ fees under Florida’s unpaid wages statute.
Our attorneys demanded that the animal hospital pay our client for his damages and expenses and the parties were able to reach an amicable settlement.
Florida Corporation Breaches Food Service Agreement
In this case, a retail services corporation in Southwest Florida breached a service agreement with our client, a food service provider.
Under the terms of the contract, our client agreed to provide food services to the defendant’s employees at three cafés located at their corporate headquarters. The agreement began in September 2014 and continued indefinitely, until one of the parties provided the other with at least 60 days written notice of termination.
After failing to recover its damages on its own, the food service company hired BTG, and we settled the case.
For more than two years, our client upheld its end of the bargain and provided the defendant with excellent food service that passed the required health department tests. In March 2017, the defendant served our client with a 60-day termination notice. Contrary to the termination notice, however, the defendant instructed our client to immediately cease operating in two of the three cafés.
Our client told the corporation that it was impractical to continue operations at only one of the three cafés. Indeed, during the remaining 60 days of the agreement, our client lost food due to spoilage and lost revenue as a result of its improperly curtailed operations.
After unsuccessfully trying to recover its damages on its own, the food service company hired the Business Trial Group to file a lawsuit. Pursuant to the parties’ services contract, the prevailing party was entitled to recover attorneys’ fees and costs. Once the large corporation recognized that our client had experienced counsel on a contingency that was willing to see the case all the way through to trial, we were able to secure a settlement of the dispute.
Contingency-Fee Breach of Employment Contract Attorneys
The Business Trial Group handled these two breach of contract cases the same way that we handle each and every case: on a contingency-fee basis.
While contingency-fee litigation helps provide a just outcome in many types of business disputes, it can be particularly advantageous to businesses and individuals involved in contract lawsuits.
Contractors not being paid for their work is unfortunately an all-too-common issue. And there is a simple reason for this: businesses can often get away with not paying contractors.
Businesses cannot short contractors when their opposition hires an attorney on a contingency.
Businesses get away with this is by driving up litigation costs to the point where it is too risky for the contractors to pursue a lawsuit. But this strategy relies on the premise that each party is paying an attorney hundreds of dollars per hour. Businesses cannot get away with shorting their contractors when their opposition hires an attorney on a contingency-fee basis.
As the largest contingency-fee law firm in the country, we are able to cover the expense of even the most complex litigation and take cases to trial when necessary. Wealthier entities cannot use their superior finances as leverage against our clients to force a lowball settlement. In short, contingency-fee litigation levels the playing field and helps close the “Justice Gap.”
Receive a Free Contract Dispute Case Review
If you entered into a contract with another party and they failed to provide proper notice of termination—or violated the contract in another way—and you suffered damages as a result, we can help. And if you win a lawsuit for unpaid wages or benefits, the defendant may have to pay your legal costs.
The Business Trial Group represents individuals and business in contract disputes involving construction, employment, real estate, professional malpractice, and many other matters. To speak with our Florida contract litigation attorneys, contact Alex Braunstein at Abraunstein@forthepeople.com or submit a free case review form.