Competition is a key element of business in Florida. In fact, for some, competition may be the most compelling part of owning and running a business. It is perfectly appropriate to strategize a way to gain an advantage in the marketplace. However, there are legal boundaries and if someone oversteps these boundaries, he or she may have committed an act of tortious interference.
Slander, embezzlement and fraud are all examples of tortious interference. One very common form of interference involves breach of contract. If a party attempts to breach the terms of a signed agreement by means of blackmail or threats, that party may have committed a tortious act. Likewise, tortious interference can occur if a party simply does not adhere to a contract's terms, creating hardships for the other party.
It is important to understand that not all interference is considered tortious. Interference can result from acceptable business practices. Intention is a key factor in determining if a party's actions are tortious. A party's motives, interests and relationships with other parties are all factors that can determine if an interference is improper.
Determining if a party's actions rise to the level of tortious interference could prove tricky. As this article explains, not only is intent involved, but the actions must have generated an actual interference. That is, it is not enough that a party to merely attempted to cause interference, but an interference must have actually resulted from the attempt.
If your business has suffered economic loss due to the intentional tortious acts of another party, you may wish to consider taking legal action. A Florida business and commerce attorney could go over the specifics of your situation and may be able to help you prove that the interference was deliberate. The attorney may also be able to act on your behalf in pursuing damages.