A “tort” is any wrongful act or infringement of rights that will place legal liability with the offending party. A business tort, or economic tort, focuses on wrongful acts an individual or entity commits against businesses. These wrongful acts may be intentional or due to negligence, carelessness, or recklessness.
Business torts typically cause some form of financial loss to the victim. They are not criminal offenses, although some cases may lead to criminal charges in addition to civil lawsuits. Businesses that suffer financial losses because of a defendant’s actions may seek recovery through the Georgia civil court. Butler Wooten & Peak LLP can help with these legal actions.
Someone else’s wrongdoing can mean the downfall of an entire company. Business torts often involve damages to a company such as financial harm, loss of reputation, lost business opportunities, or the inability to remain in business. They are essentially an unlawful or negligent act that interferes with a business’s ability to operate as it otherwise would. The list of what qualifies as a “business tort” is long and flexible, but may include:
At Butler Wooten & Peak LLP, we’ve represented clients in a variety of business tort claims. We aim to help businesses take stands against wrongdoers and lawbreakers, and retrieve just compensation for their losses – both economic and non-economic. Calculating business losses can be difficult, as it doesn’t always come down to monetary damages. Our lawyers can help you calculate your losses according to the law, which asks that the plaintiff do so with “reasonable certainty.” We can give you a good-faith estimate that accurately portrays the financial summation of your losses. Then, we can begin the claims process.
Before you consider a business tort claim, understand the grounds for filing. If an individual or entity committed a wrongful or negligent act that led to some type of loss for your company, you may have the elements necessary for this type of claim. Some torts require intent to harm before it will assign a party liability. For example, to bring a claim on the basis of slander, you must show that the defendant intended to cause you harm with the slanderous words – or that a reasonable and prudent person would know that the action would cause harm.
In other cases, it is not necessary to prove intent, as long as there is proof that the defendant’s actions caused you harm. For example, you may be able to bring a business tort claim for breach of contract even if the individual didn’t realize his/her actions broke one of the contract’s provisions. Ignorance of the law is not a defense in most business tort claims. The individual or entity has the responsibility to understand his/her rights and duties, and should act in a way that does not break the law or constitute negligence.
You can bring a tort claim at the same time as a criminal charge if the defendant’s actions broke the law. For example, if an employee steals money from an employer, it is a tort of conversion as well as a crime of embezzlement. Bringing a civil action could result in recovery for damages such as lost wages and earnings, lost business profits or value, pain and suffering, and punitive damages for gross negligence or intent to harm. Contact Butler Wooten & Peak LLP, for a free business tort consultation today.