A breach of contact isn’t always as obvious as it seems. Parties outside of a contract—using blackmail, threats, or influence—can be held liable for a breach of contract between two other parties. Damages for this type of unethical business practice can be rewarded through what is known as tortious interference.
Tortious Interference with Contract
Tortious interference with contract allows a claim for damages to be made against a defendant who disrupts or causes a breach of a contractual relationship. For example, let’s say a football player signs a contract to be a starter with a professional football team in California. Another football team in New York is interested in the player and reaches out to him with a more lucrative offer, fully aware of the player’s existing contract. The player then decides that he prefers New York’s offer and breaches his existing contract. In this case, the football team in California can potentially sue the team in New York for tortious interference with contract because New York’s actions caused the football player to breach his contract with California.
Tortious Interference with a Business Relationship
Tortious interference with a business relationship allows a claim for damages to be made against a defendant who harms an existing business relationship or activity. This tort is similar to interference with contract, except it doesn’t require an actual contract. Using the previous example, if the football player does not have a signed contract, yet is interested in the California team, the New York team can be sued for harming their business relationship.
Not every tortious interference case is clear cut, and there are many factors to take into account. A party may be held liable for tortious interference under the following circumstances:
- A valid contract or business relationship exists between two or more parties
- The defendant is aware of the contract
- The defendant intends to convince one of the parties to breach the contract
- The interference is not an act protected by the law
- A contractual breach occurs
- The non-breaching party suffers quantifiable damage as a result
If you have suffered losses due to interference with a contract, reach out to our Dallas business litigation attorneys at Deans & Lyons, LLP. Our team of lawyers can help you receive compensation for lost profits, damages to your business reputation and mental distress.Call us at (844) 297-8898 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.