Legal Resource Center
What is Tortious Interference with Contractual or Business Relations?
“Tortious interference” is a civil tort for damages against a defendant who wrongfully interferes with another party’s contractual or business relationship.
The tort of tortious interference occurs when a person causes harm by intentionally:
(a) disrupting or causing a breach of a contractual relationship, for example by preventing a partying from performing its obligations under a contract; or
(b) harming an existing business relationship or activity, for example, by spreading false and harmful information about company to its clients.
The person causing the illegal interference is typically a third party who is not included in the contract or relationship. Whether a particular claim qualifies as tortious interference with contract, or tortious interference with business relations, generally depends on whether the parties who are being interfered with have a formal contract in place. The purpose of tortious interference claim is to allow parties to be free to contract with one another and to be able to fulfill their contractual obligations without illegal interference from outside parties.
Elements to Prove Tortious Interference
In most jurisdictions, a claim for tortious interference requires that the following six elements are proven:
- A valid contract or relationship must exist between at least two parties;
- The third party defendant had knowledge or was aware of the contract between the two other parties;
- The defendant intended to convince, induce, or make one of the parties to the contract breach the contract;
- The interference by the defendant was not an act that is privileged or protected by the law;
- A contractual breach actually occurred; and
- The non-breaching party suffered measurable damages.
If the above elements occurred then a defendant may be liable for tortious interference. The remedies for a plaintiff in a tortious interference action include both monetary damages and equitable remedies, including, among others: money damages for lost profits, specific performance of a contract, punitive damages, and other remedies like injunctions. The assessment of money damages are calculable by a number of factors including fair market values or prices listed in the contract itself.
Stop Tortious Interference on the Internet
If you or your business is a victim of tortious interference from information written on internet, contact the experienced internet attorneys at Meyers Roman Friedberg & Lewis, LPA to evaluate your case. Under current laws, it is possible for an attorney to completely remove infringing content from the web. Call (216) 373-7706 today to find out more information.