Are you the victim of tortious interference?

Tortious interference refers to the intentional interference in a contractual or other business relationship with the motive of inflicting economic harm to one or more of the parties in that relationship. It's considered an economic tort because the damage to the plaintiff is financial in nature.

Tortious interference can come in many forms. A common example is when one party (the defendant, if the case goes to court) forces or tries to persuade another party to violate a contract with someone else. This could be done, for example, by offering a product or service involved at a below-market price as an inducement. Blackmail or even threats, however, could also be used.

All of the parties involved in the contract or relationship that was interfered with can be plaintiffs in a tortious interference case. They could potentially sue for economic and other damages.

A valid claim of tortious interference must include a number of elements:

  • There must be some kind of economic expectancy or valid contract between two or more parties.
  • The defendant must have been aware of that contract or expectancy
  • The defendant must have successfully disrupted the economic expectancy or contract -- not just attempted to do so.
  • The interference must have been improper, not part of a legitimate business activity. One type of improper intent is when a party interferes solely to cause economic harm to someone else.
  • Finally, plaintiffs must show that they actually suffered damage as a result of the interference. The damage is usually monetary. However, plaintiffs can sue for punitive and other damages in addition to monetary damages.

If you believe that you've been the victim of tortious interference, it's crucial to discuss the situation with an experienced commercial litigation attorney. They can advise you of whether you have a case and, if so, work to help you get the damages you deserve.

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