What a Breach of Contract Attorney Must Prove

To prevail on a breach a contract claim, a plaintiff (the damaged party) must prove (1) a valid contract existed between the plaintiff and the defendant (the party who breaches the contract), (2) the plaintiff tendered performance or was excused from doing so, (3) the defendant breached the terms of the contract, and (4) the plaintiff sustained damages as a result of the defendant's breach.  West v. Triple B Servs., LLP, 264 S.W.3d 440, 446 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2008, no pet.).  But, what if the breaching party claims they never actually read the contract and, therefore, cannot be held liable for breaching it?  Such an argument will provide no defense whatsoever to a breach of contract claim.  By signing a contract, a party is presumed to have read and understood its contents.  See In re Prudential Co. of Am., 148 S.W.3d 124, 134 (Tex. 2004).  Cantella & Co., Inc. v. Goodwin, 924 S.W.2d 943, 944 (Tex. 1996) (Texas law presumes a party who signs a contract has read it and knows of its contents).
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