Contract disputes can be complicated in California

It is always important to keep one's word. This includes making sure to follow through on any terms agreed to in a California business contract. Failure to do so can result in contract disputes which could end up in litigation.

This turned out to be the case for TransAsia Commodities and NewLead JMEG. The two companies had been adversaries in a long-running litigation over a contract for a coal purchase deal. TransAsia filed the lawsuit against NewLead and is asking to be compensated $6.2 million over losses which had been incurred as a result of an alleged breach of contract terms.

NewLead had agreed to deliver 110,000 tonnes of coal to the plaintiff. The defendant recently agreed to stipulate that it had indeed breached these terms. NewLead recently filed documents in court to stipulate its liability for breaching the terms of the contract. The defendant also withdrew two counterclaims it had filed against the plaintiff.

The first counterclaim had been related to allegations of false representations. The second counterclaim alleged TransAmerica failed to provide a letter of credit, which NewLead had argued was a breach of the contract terms. The stipulation filed by NewLead deals with one out of four counts alleged by TransAsia.

This long-running case underscores how complicated California contract disputes can be. It is typically preferable to obtain the help of an experienced business and commercial law attorney in order to help navigate through a complex breach of contract litigation. Many of these disagreements end up getting settled through negotiation. Regardless, it will be necessary to assert a position consistent with applicable laws while also pursuing a favorable result that protects business interests.

Source:, "NewLead JMEG concedes liability in breach of contract litigation", Holly Birkett, July 9, 2015

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