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What business owners should know about tortious interference

Ask any business owner about the keys to success and they will likely say that much of it depends on staying one-step ahead of the competition. Indeed, this means not just offering a better product or service to customers, but also keeping operating costs low and, of course, generating higher profit margins.     

What happens, however, when a business owner, in their unending quest for continued success, engages in conduct that proves damaging to a fellow competitor? The answer, of course, is that they may find themselves facing a lawsuit alleging tortious interference with a contract or business expectancy.

Generally, lawsuits alleging tortious interference involve allegations that a business either forced or persuaded another party to breach a contract with a third party.

To illustrate, consider the following examples:

  • A business owner forcing a party to violate a contract reached with a third party due to blackmail or other overt threats.
  • A business owner manipulating market prices in order to force a party to violate a contract reached with a third party.
  • A business owner using unethical practices that make it impossible for a party to honor the terms of a contract reached with a third party.     

All of this naturally begs the question as to who typically brings tortious interference lawsuits.

In general, the plaintiffs in these cases are either the party or parties that were either coerced or otherwise induced to violate a contract, or the third party or parties that lost the benefits of a contract due to the alleged interference.    

We will continue to examine this topic in future posts, exploring the elements of a tortious interference lawsuit.

If you have questions or concerns related to possible tortious interference, please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about your rights and your options. 

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