By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., a NJ Contracts Attorney
As you are probably aware, contracts are legally binding documents. The parties that sign the agreement promise to abide by the terms contained within, otherwise they can be sued for breach of contract. Breach of contract claims are not as simple as they sound, however. Complex issues often arise, including whether or not certain documents are considered a “contract” and what exactly is contracted for in the agreement, issues that arose in a recent NJ Court Case.
The case involved an individual attempting to purchase a car from an automobile dealership. In a signed document, the dealer agreed to place an order for the vehicle, which it did, but the plaintiff never received the car he wanted. The plaintiff brought suit, alleging breach of contract by the dealership. The NJ Court ruled for the dealership, finding that no binding contract to deliver the vehicle was signed by the parties. The only document signed by the parties was an order form for the vehicle. While this may have been a contract between the parties, the dealership promised only to order the vehicle for the plaintiff, a promise it fulfilled. The order form lacked several essential terms that are included in a contract for an automobile purchase, including the VIN number for the car and an odometer reading, among others. Therefore, the order form was not a contract to deliver the car to the plaintiff, but only to order it from the manufacturer. Since the dealership ordered the vehicle, its only obligation under the document, the plaintiff’s breach of contract claim failed.
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