Business competition can get nasty. Sharp-elbow business practices can cross the line and become illegal. You may have heard of the tort of tortious interference with a contract. When this occurs, a company intentionally interferes in the affairs of a rival company to steal its business relationships. Its actions are meant to encourage a breach of contract between another company and a third party.
Example of Tortious Interference
Let’s say your company manufactures medical devices and has a contract with a regional health care system that oversees a network of hospitals, clinics and pharmacies. Separately, the regional health care system has a contract with another firm, ABC Company. ABC Company has long intended to branch out into medical devices with an ultimate plan to eliminate the competition – your company. ABC Company resorts to an unscrupulous tactic: threatening to end business relations with the regional health care system unless the latter drops its contract with your company.
Do you have a case?
If something like that has happened to you, you may have a cause of action for tortious interference. Here is what your lawyer will have to prove:
- You had an existing contract.
- The meddling company – the defendant – had previous knowledge of your contract with the third party.
- The defendant intentionally interfered, knowing that its actions would harm your business and lead to a broken contract.
- The defendant intended to interfere with your contract.
- A breach of contract occurred due to the defendant’s actions.
- Your company suffered damages as a result of this broken contract.
When these factors come into play, you and your company have a claim for tortious interference.
If you have suffered this sort of harm, reach out to us and we can visit about how you can make it right.