- substantial performance doctrine
- A doctrine in commercial reasonableness which recognizes that the rendering of a performance which does not exactly meet the terms of the agreement (slight deviation) will be looked upon as fulfillment of the obligation, less the damages which result from any deviation from the promised performance. This doctrine, which is widely applied in building contracts and which is intended to prevent unjust enrichment, provides that where contract is made for agreed exchange of two performances, one of which is to be rendered first, substantial performance, rather than strict, exact or literal performance, by first party of terms of contract is sufficient to entitle such party to recover on such performance. Delia Ratta, Inc. v. American Better Community Developers, Inc., 38 Md. App. 119, 380 A.2d 627, 637.Substantial performance of a contract is shown when party alleging substantial performance has made an honest endeavor in good faith to perform his part of the contract, when results of his endeavor are beneficial to other party, and when such benefits are retained by the other party; if any one of these circumstances is not established the performance is not substantial, and the party has no right of recovery. Alliance Tractor & Implement Co. v. Lukens Tool & Die Co., 194 Neb. 473, 233 N.W.2d 299, 301
Black's law dictionary. HENRY CAMPBELL BLACK, M. A.. 1990.