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How to identify tortious interference

Competition between markets is a necessary element of a healthy economy. Occasionally, this competition takes an unnecessary turn and crosses the line of proper and lawful conduct and into the realm of improper business practices. When a business interferes with the relationships of a competitor or their contracts with other companies with the intent to cause financial harm, they may wind up getting sued for tortious interference.

This type of business tort can take on many forms. However, generally speaking, the bottom line must stay the same. For a case of competition to be considered tortious interference, the interfering party must be doing so intentionally to cause economic harm. The most common form of this interference comes when one business induces or forces someone to walk away from a contracted agreement they have with another business.

Individuals and businesses may induce or force someone to breach their contract with a third-party through blackmail, payoffs or threats. Regardless of how the interference is initiated, it can result in a lawsuit. A court will decide if the interference was intentional or done by negligence. They must also determine the motive for the interference for the case to be successful. If a court decides that a business’s motive for the interference was improper practice and not simple competition, the person or business found to be interfering may be responsible for paying damages to the plaintiff.

If you believe your business has been the victim of tortious interference, you may benefit by working with an experienced business law attorney. With their help, responsible individuals may be held accountable for their interference and you may be able to receive damages for your loss.