Dallas Business Lawyer for Tortious Interference
What Is Tortious Interference?
Tortious interference is a common law tort allowing a claim for damages
against a party who wrongfully interferes with another party’s contractual
or business relationships.
The first kind of economic injury, “tortious interference with contract,”
occurs when the individual or entity who is not a party to a contract
says or does something that results in one of the parties breaching the
contract. The second kind is “tortious interference with a business
relationship,” which is similar to tortious interference with a
contract, except that an actual contract doesn’t have to exist.
Tortious Interference Claim
In order to make a tortious interference claim, the plaintiff must have
previously had a valid contractual or business relations with another
party. If the contract or expectancy in question was not properly created
or violates public policy, then the defendant will have no liability for
its breach. In effect, the contract never existed, so the defendant couldn't
have caused its breach.
Certain contracts that are terminable at will present interesting situations
for tortious interference claims. Just because a party can end a contract
at will doesn't give the defendant the ability to induce that termination.
If the defendant knowingly causes someone to end an at-will contractual
or business relationship, and the motive for causing the termination is
improper, they can still be held responsible for tortious interference.
Common Forms of Tortious Interference
The most common form of interference occurs when a person forces or induces
someone to break a contract they have with a third party. This can occur
in a variety of ways, such as someone offering below-market prices to
induce a breach, blackmailing or threatening someone into a contract violation,
or making it difficult for the other person to perform and obtain contract benefits.
To determine whether a tort has occurred, courts examine the person’s
motivation which resulted in the breach to figure out whether or not they
acted in an improper fashion. If the individual making the business decision
does not have an improper motive for their actions and behavior, then
it is not considered tortious interference.
The following are the basic elements of a tortious interference claim:
- A valid contract or economic expectancy between the plaintiff and a third party
- Knowledge of the contract or expectancy by the defendant
- Defendant has an intention to interfere with the contract or expectancy
- The interference is done in an improper fashion
- The plaintiff suffers damages
Call (972) 200-3078 To Let Us Protect Your Rights & Best Interests
Business is highly competitive. When a business relationship ends, people
and organizations can suffer because of it. With over 20 years of experience,
business litigation lawyer at the
Law Offices of Dan Chern, P.C. can develop solutions aligned with your best interests and created to
obtain the most favorable outcome possible.
and schedule a case evaluation today.