Price is probably one of the first details that companies discuss when entering into contract negotiations. Similarly, price is also typically considered one of the essential elements of a business contract. Yet a recent lawsuit, brought by the Massachusetts Port Authority, demonstrates that even this detail can give rise to commercial litigation.
According to the complaint, Massport entered into two contracts with Granite City Electric Supply, an electrical supplies distributor based out of Quincy, for electrical supplies. The contracts were executed in 2008 and 2012. The two entities agreed on set prices for the products, to be ordered over a period of four and three years, respectively.
However, Massport claims it was overcharged on over 700 invoices, amounting to a discrepancy of $261,139. Massport further claims that the distributor failed to notify or reimburse it for the overcharges. In fact, the alleged overcharges were discovered only during an audit in 2014. Accordingly, Massport recently brought a breach of contract lawsuit. The complaint alleges several contract claims, including breach of contract, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and breach of an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
As this example illustrates, business disputes can arise regardless of how well established a company or entity is, or how many years it has been in operation. Our law firm has represented business clients of all sizes, including serving as local counsel for out-of-state companies. A need for local representation arises in instances such as this, where a contract was executed in Massachusetts and accordingly governed by state law.
Source: Boston Herald, “Massport sues Quincy company,” Donna Goodison, Aug. 25, 2016