Regardless of whether you are in Fort Lauderdale, or some other locality, contracts, both between individuals and larger companies or groups, are legally binding documents. As such, those who have agreed to and signed a contract are legally required to adhere to its stipulations. In the event circumstances change, it does not necessarily mean the terms also change. In order to avoid a potential dispute, contract negotiation and counsel may be required.

According to reports, J.C. Penney, the popular department store, is involved in a contract dispute with the manufacturer of a high-end coffee-press they carry. The maker of the coffee-press, Bodum Group, has filed a lawsuit against Penney, seeking damages for breach of contract. The exact amount they will seek has not yet been determined, however, it is likely it will be at least $2.8 million, the amount Bodum claims to have spent preparing for the launch of their brand in J.C. Penney stores.

Bodum Group and J.C. Penney reportedly entered into a contract to feature the Bodum coffee-presses within the stores. JCP had planned to remodel their departments so they would appear as a group of boutique type shops all under one roof, but since decided against the proposed transformations. Bodum claims that, in abandoning their plan, Penney defaulted on several key aspects of their contract and did not adequately create alternative displays.

If you have been given a contract to sign and need help understanding the terms, or if you have already signed a contract that you may need to modify or terminate, it may be helpful to consult with an attorney. A lawyer can explain your options and help you to fully understand the terms, as well as answer any other questions you may have.

Source: Huffington Post, “J.C. Penney Sued By Household Appliance Maker Bodum For Failing To Market Products As Promised”, Phil Wahba, Sep. 9, 2013