This chapter discusses the consequences of: (1) anticipatory repudiations (which are repudiations that occur before the repudiator’s performance is due) and (2) repudiations that occur after the time for performance. Key concepts:
A. Total breach: When a party who owes a present duty under a contract fails to perform that duty, he has, of course, breached the contract. If this breach is relatively severe, it will, as we have seen (supra, p. 211) have the effect of suspending or discharging the other party’s obligation to perform under the contract. Such a breach is sometimes called a “total” breach. A total breach also has the effect of allowing the wronged party to sue immediately for damages based on the entire contract. Usually, these damages will be such as would put the wronged party in the position he would have been in had the contract been completed; see infra, p. 308.
1. Partial breach: If, on the other hand, the breach is not material, it does not relieve the aggrieved party from continuing to perform under the contract. Such a non-material breach is sometimes called a “partial” breach. Although the aggrieved party is not relieved from performing after a partial breach, he nonetheless has an immediate right to sue for damages stemming from the partial breach.