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Hochster v De la Tour (1853) 2 E & B 678
The claimant agreed to be a courier for the defendant for 3 months starting on 1st June 1852. On the 11th May the defendant wrote to the claimant stating he no longer wanted his services and refused to pay compensation. The claimant obtained a service contract elsewhere but this was not to start until 4th July. The claimant brought an action on 22nd May for breach of contract. The defendant argued that there was no breach of contract on 22nd May as the contract was not due to start until 1st of June.

Held:

Where one party communicates their intention not to perform the contract, the innocent party need not wait until the breach has occurred before bringing their claim. They may sue immediately or they can choose to continue with the contract and wait for the breach to occur.

Back to lecture outline on Discharge by breach of contract  in Contract Law