By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Contract Attorney
I just read and interesting case involving a breach of contract and tortious interference with economic benefits. I will summarize the important details of the case for you below. At the very end I will give you my take on the case.
The action originated in the Chancery Court pursuant to a Complaint filed by the Plaintiff, Technology Dynamics, Inc. d/b/a Nova Battery Systems (hereinafter, “NBS”). Plaintiff alleged that a former employee whose title was general manager, chief engineer and chief operating officer, conducted an unlawful scheme to steal customers, employees, and the goodwill of the company for a direct competitor. In response the defendant filed an answer, counterclaim and affirmative defenses, where they claimed that they were never bound by any non-compete agreement.
RULE OF LAW AND DECISION OF THE COURT
Every judicial decision requires a Judge(s) to issue findings of fact and supporting conclusions of law. Here the Court stated that a party bringing a claim of breach of contract has the burden of proving all elements of its case. Under New Jersey law, a plaintiff must plead and prove the following elements for a valid breach of contract claim: “(1) a contract between the parties; (2) a breach of that contract; (3) damages flowing from the breach; and (4) that the party bringing the case performed its own contractual obligations.”
As to the first element an enforceable contractual agreement requires an offer, an acceptance, consideration and a meeting of the minds upon all the essential terms of the agreement. The terms “must be sufficiently definite that the performance to be rendered by each party can be ascertained with reasonable certainty.” Therefore, “where the parties do not agree to one or more essential terms … courts generally hold that the agreement is unenforceable.”
I’ll continue with this case in my next post.
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