Business Tort Litigation
When the word “tort” is mentioned, most people thing about individuals who have been harmed by another person or company. However, businesses can be the victim of torts by other business competitors. Sometimes, these torts can only be resolved through civil litigation. Has your business been accused of actions that harmed other businesses or individuals? We can help you deal with the matter quickly. Has another company or individual interfered in your business relationships? We may be able to assist you in collecting the damages caused to your company by the wrongful conduct of another.
In Texas, a claim for tortious interference with a contract can arise if the following elements are proven:
- A contract. This must be a valid, enforceable contract. Contract that could not be enforced by the contracting parties would not be the basis for a tortious interference claim if one party is led astray by a third party. Likewise, illegal contracts can not form the basis for a claim if they are broken upon the insistence of a third party.
- Willful and intentional acts of interference. The defendant must know there is a contract and intend to induce one party to break the contract. Simply advertising services or accepting a client that is under contract with another provider is not sufficient.
- Proximate causation. As in any other tort claim, it is necessary to prove that the actions of the defendant actually caused the injury. So, if a party to a contract decides to break the contract and signs with another party, the third party’s actions did not cause the breach. One way to look at it is to ask whether the breach of contract would have occurred without the actions of the defendant.
- Actual damages or loss. This element is usually not too hard to prove because there is a contract that has been broken and quite often there are lost profits.
Unlawful interference with your business can cost thousands of dollars and ruin relationships with your clients. This type of action requires immediate and aggressive action to rectify. Not all interference creates a cause of action. There may be justification or a privilege that allows the interference. If you feel that another person or company has interfered with your business or a contract you have with an other company or client, contact one of the lawyers at Michael P. Fleming & Associates today to discuss your options. In most breach of contract claims, the plaintiff has 4 years from the breach to bring a lawsuit for attorneys fees and damages. However, the statute of limitations for a business contract interference claim is only two years. So, don’t delay in seeking legal advice if your company has been the victim of improper business actions by a competitor.