Can I Sue for Unfinished Work on a Contract?

Q: I have an incomplete contract from a client, can I sue for the monetary value of the rest of the terms? I had a contract with a client for 18 months, but only completed seven months of it because he could “no longer afford to” pay on it. Is this an acceptable reason for him to discontinue said contract, or can I sue for the value of the 11 months unpaid and unworked?

A: It depends on the language in the contract. A good contract would have spelled out damages if there is a breach. If the contract does not spell what constitutes breach and does not address damages, you possibly may be able to recover under other theories of contract law, such as quantum meruit . This ancient contract doctrine is based on the work you actually performed that you were not paid for or costs that you advanced for which you were not reimbursed for months 8 through 18. You really need to let a lawyer look at the contract and hear all of the facts to assess whether you have grounds to sue, and whether it would be worth suing this particular defendant.

If you feel like this issue relates to you, or a problem that you are experiencing, please contact me so that we can discuss your situation.