Tortious Interference: Examples and Definition
Tortious interference is the fancy lawyer way of saying “negatively interfering with a contract”. The person or party that commits a tortious act is a tortfeasor.
In the most basic terms, it occurs when a party interferes with a contract. The disturbed contract can be one in which the defendant is a named party. Or, it can a contract between two other entities, of which the accused party was aware.
Examples of Tortious Interference
Below are a few hypothetical examples of tortious interference.
Tortious Inducement of Breach of Contract Example
Business A and Business B are both Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Business C is an app development firm. For several years, Businesses B and C have enjoyed a profitable partnership, as B uses C’s app to help power its platform. The professional relationship between B and C is well known in the tech industry.
Business A, however, is branching out into Business B’s niche. The two companies are now competitors. In a misguided effort to gain a market advantage, Business A does something that has a negative impact on the contract between B and C.
If Business B can prove that Business A intentionally committed the negative and disruptive act to impact its relationship with C, then B can win a tortious interference lawsuit.
Tortious interference with prospective business relations, expectations or advantage
Another type of tortious act involves unfairly manipulating one party into backing out of a deal with another party.
In order to win a tortious claim of this nature, however, the plaintiff must prove that the meddling party:
- Knew about the pending contract between the other involved entities; and
- Would somehow profit or gain from the dissolution of the contract or agreement to which he or she is accused of sabotaging.
Intention Is Essential In Tortious Interference Cases
One of the most critical things to remember about tortious interference law is that plaintiffs must show intent on the part of the defendant. If you can’t prove that the defendant purposefully tried to mess with your contract or agreement, the chances of winning diminish.
Consult with a Tortious Interference Attorney
Kelly / Warner has successfully handled many tortious interference claims for businesses and entrepreneurs. In the majority of cases, a settlement, with which both parties are happy, can be reached fairly quickly. In the instances where an agreement can’t be reached without a judge or jury, Kelly / Warner has an excellent track record winning tortious interference motions and cases.
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Contact us to start exploring your tortious interference legal options.