The pop star Brandy has been sued by the organizers of a Texas charity festival after she failed to perform as agreed. Soul Tree Collective, the event’s organizer, says that Brandy’s representatives contacted them fewer than 24 hours before her scheduled performance, saying that she wouldn’t arrive until shortly before the performance was scheduled to begin, demanding a police escort to the festival, and asking to push back her performance time. The organizers say that they couldn’t meet the singer’s demands so close to the scheduled performance.
For a breach of contract action to succeed, the following must apply:
- a valid contract
- the terms of the contract must have been breached
- there must have been damages.
But even if these elements are satisfied, there are circumstances under which a person can be excused from performing as agreed.
In Brandy’s case, it’s likely that her attorneys will claim that although there was a valid contract in place for her to perform at the festival, she was unable to perform due to circumstances outside her control, excusing her.
“Impossibility” can be a valid excuse for failing to perform under a contract if, due to changed circumstances, one party isn’t able to hold up their end of the bargain. But impossibility also requires that the performance was made impossible due to those changed circumstance and the contract was predicated on the non-occurrence of those changed circumstance.
Brandy’s attorneys may argue that her performance at the festival was made impossible by her inability to travel to the venue. But Soul Tree Collective is likely to argue that Brandy’s performance was not impossible, especially considering that her band was in the city at the time the show was called off. They may also argue that she could have taken steps to secure alternate transportation.
Cases like this one involve complex, competing arguments and dueling interpretation of the facts. If you’re involved in a contract dispute, it helps to have an experienced Houston business dispute attorney on your side.