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Business Torts Archives

How do you handle an ex-employee's false online allegations?

How easy would it be for one disgruntled former employee to destroy your reputation? Ten or 20 years ago, an angry ex-employee's outburst on the local scene might create a momentary stir, but little more. Only someone with real influence could do any significant damage.

Stranger cases have existed

Occasionally a person with a problem thinks "maybe I should consult an attorney." The person considers his or her circumstances, and then decides the problem is too strange or embarrassing to be shared with an attorney. Lawyers, however, are no stranger to the bizarre. Here are merely two examples of real tort cases. Please note that while these are real cases, this law firm was not directly involved with either of them; for reasons of confidentiality, real cases handled by this firm cannot be discussed on this blog.

Can tortious interference apply to at-will contracts?

An at-will contract is one in which the client is free to end the relationship at any time without penalty. This contrasts with a long-term contract. Leases, for example, are typically long-term contracts. A contract with a cleaning company, however, may be an at-will contract; the business contracting with the cleaning company is free to stop using cleaning company A and start using cleaning company B at any time. Yet tortious interference can still apply to at-will contracts.

Recourses for victims of fake news stories

It was not that long ago that people depended on printed newspapers to learn about happenings in the world around them. As the world began to go digital, many legitimate newspapers and magazines made the switch, allowing commuters to scan headlines on their tablets and smart phones as opposed to relying on physical papers. As people come to rely less on legitimate news sources and more on social media however, a spate of fake news stories has begun wrecking havoc on both individuals and businesses.

Don't let Black Friday cast a black cloud over your business

Hard as it may be to believe, Black Friday is almost here again. It's a day when people set their alarms for 5 am in order to be at electronic stores when the doors open. Others actually camp out in front of big box stores, hoping to be one of the lucky few chosen to obtain this year's must-have toy or electronic gadget.

Food allergies need to be taken seriously

Food allergies are alive and well and on the rise. For proof, simply offer to bring in cupcakes to a preschool classroom to help celebrate a birthday. By the time you've finished sourcing treats that are nut/seed/soy/wheat free, you may decide kids eat too much sugar anyway, and that stickers are a marvelous alternative. In all seriousness, though, food allergies are a genuine medical problem that should not be taken lightly. Unfortunately, as an article in BusinessWest.com reported, not everyone chooses to do so.

Are haunted houses liable for being too scary?

Some visitors to Raleigh, North Carolina's "Panic Point" may never make it past the liability release waiver. The waiver states that, amongst other horrors, guests may experience injury from poisonous plants, animal bites, sprains, strains and fractures. And that's before they launch into the part about the possibility of death, presumably from the fear that occurs when a chainsaw-wielding murderer bursts out of the corn.

Words can have the power to cause pain

Freedom of speech is a marvelous right given to all Americans. Politicians are free to hurl insults at each other in the guise of debates and political ads. Newspaper reporters can write stories about how the food industry works to manipulate how we view fat and sugar. And the average citizen can post on Facebook about how she will no longer be shopping at Big Box Store X because she does not like their new line of home furniture, without worrying that her post will result in a midnight knock at the door. This freedom of expression does have some limits, however. A person or group of people cannot engage in libel or slander without the possibility of repercussion.