Tortious interference with existing contracts and with prospective business relations occurs when an outside party intentionally causes one party in a business relationship to violate the terms of that relationship.
For example, someone may interfere with a contract by preventing a company from carrying out its terms by preventing a delivery from occurring. A person may disrupt a non-contractual relationship by spreading false information that causes another business to stop working with the company.
Interference with business relationships can cause a breach of contract, but it can also be based on interference with an oral or informal agreement. It is more difficult to prove interference with business relations than interference with contracts, because of the difficulty in proving the existence of the business relationship.
To prove tortious interference with an existing contract, four elements must be proven:
- The plaintiff had a valid contract.
- The defendant willfully and intentionally interfered with the contract.
- The interference proximately caused the plaintiff’s injury.
- The plaintiff incurred actual damage or loss
To prove tortious interference with prospective business relations, two essential facts must be proven: that there was a business relationship between the plaintiff and the other party, and that the defendant interfered with that relationship. More specifically, the following elements must be present and provable:
There is a reasonable probability that the plaintiff would have entered into a business relationship with a third person.
- The defendant intentionally interfered with the relationship.
- The defendant’s conduct was independently tortious or unlawful.
- The interference proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
- The plaintiff suffered actual damage or loss.
For example, if a person makes false claims about a business with the intention of coercing another party to end their relationship with that company, and that act causes the business to lose money that would have been earned in that relationship, tortious interference with business relations is present.
Businesses who have experienced interference in business relations can seek compensation for their losses in the civil court. The process can be lengthy and expensive, but LaGarde Law Firm offers representation on a contingent fee basis.
We front the costs associated with the lawsuit. We are paid if and when we obtain a favorable result in your case. In addition to our fee, we are reimbursed for court costs and other expenses that we have incurred on your behalf.
When pursuing a claim, several types of relief may be applicable. Businesses can seek compensation for current and future losses associated with the interference, but the numbers must be clearly defined and verifiable. Equitable remedies, which address the defendant’s actions, may also apply. If the act was malicious or criminal, punitive damages may also be available.
LaGarde Law Firm has represented many business clients in tortious interference with business relations claims. To learn more, please contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.