When one person or entity wrongfully interferes with another’s business relationship or contractual obligations, the law refers to it as “tortious interference.” This can result in significant harm to the victim. For example, a company could persuade its competitor’s supplier into breaking a contract – causing the competitor to experience a drop in business and loss of profits. Tortious interference doesn’t have to be intentional; it can also stem from negligence. Come to the business tort attorneys at Butler Wooten & Peak LLP for legal counsel regarding this type of claim.
Tortious interference doesn’t always involve breaches of contract. It may also describe situations in which one party prevents another from establishing a business relationship with someone else. For example, if one party made false claims and accusations against a competing business with the intent to drive customers away, the courts would deem this “tortious interference of business.” Any circumstance in which someone intends to interfere with an existing contract or anticipated contract between other parties, acts with malicious intent, performs the deed, and causes economic harm may be tortious interference.
It may be more difficult to prove this tort if the offending party’s negligence, not intent, caused the harms. In most cases, negligently or carelessly causing the breach is not the same as intentional tortious interference. When a third party – the “tortfeasor” – interferes with a contractual relationship between two other parties, he or she can create great economic strife.
Tortious interference can lead to loss of goods, relationships, profits, employees, and an inability to do business. The victim may not realize a third party caused the breach of contract right away, if ever. This can lead to the business terminating the contract and cutting the losses. The party forced to breach the contract could face liability for the breach, or other harms if he/she refuses to oblige the third party.
It can be difficult to prove tortious interference, especially without hard evidence of the third party’s actions. However, retaining an attorney can make the claims process much more straightforward. Work with experienced tort claims attorneys to improve your chances of a successful case. If you think you have grounds to file for “tortious interference,” ask yourself if you have the elements necessary to prove your case. While these elements can vary according to jurisdiction, in general you must have:
If you believe you’ve been the victim of tortious interference, visit an attorney. A lawyer can investigate your claim and help you discover if a third party is involved in your recent contract breach with another party. Our team at Butler Wooten & Peak LLP understands how damaging the wrongful actions of tortfeasors can be to innocent and unsuspecting parties. Contact our team to discuss the possibility of a tortious interference claim in Georgia.