Tortious interference written on a law book

What You Need to Know About Tortious Interference

Caleb Bland Law, PLLC Nov. 10, 2023

Disputes and roadblocks are common occurrences in the corporate world. In fact, 90% of all businesses experience a lawsuit at some point in their life cycle. Business owners, shareholders, and executives understand this about their work, and they embrace healthy competition. But what about when the competition turns sour... and crosses the line into intentional sabotage? 

There's a term for this; it's called tortious interference. This concept involves wrongful interference in a contract or business relationship and can lead to significant harm for the affected party. Read on to gain a full understanding of tortious interference, its various types, and how to prove such claims.  

At Caleb Bland Law, PLLC, our aim is to help you understand these concepts clearly, so you can better protect your business interests. If you believe you are a victim of tortious interference, we can provide the necessary legal support to help you pursue your claim. Contact our firm in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, to arrange a free consultation and learn how we can help.  

What Is Tortious Interference?

Tortious interference is a term used in the legal field to refer to intentional disruptions in a contract or business relationship. It's an action where a third party knowingly and wrongfully interferes with an existing contract or a prospective economic advantage. The result? Harm to the party who was expecting to benefit from that contract or relationship. It's a serious issue that can cause substantial damage to businesses, affecting their operations, reputation, and bottom line. 

Let's delve into some examples that might help illustrate this concept better. 

  1. Breach of Contract: Suppose you have a deal with a supplier to deliver goods for your business. However, a competitor, aware of this arrangement, intentionally lures your supplier away with an irresistible offer. This action causes your supplier to breach their contract with you, leading to lost sales and potential damage to your business reputation. 

  1. Defamation: Imagine you've developed a new product and are about to launch it in the market. A rival company, feeling threatened by your product, begins to spread false information about its quality and safety. As a result, your prospective customers begin to doubt your product, and you lose potential sales. 

  1. Inducing Employee Breach: Say you have a key employee who's signed a non-compete agreement with your company. Another company, knowing about this agreement, offers your employee a lucrative position, causing them to violate the non-compete clause. This act then results in the loss of confidential business information and potential harm to your company's operations. 

If you're facing a situation that feels like tortious interference, don't hesitate to reach out to us. You're never alone when you have an experienced business attorney by your side. 

Types of Tortious Interference

There are two primary forms of tortious interference: interference with existing contracts and interference with prospective economic advantage. Each has its own specific elements and requirements. 

Interference With Existing Contracts 

The first type, interference with existing contracts, happens when a valid contract between two parties is intentionally and wrongfully disrupted by a third party. To establish a claim of this nature, you need to prove several elements: a valid contract existed between you and another party; the interfering party knew about this contract; they intentionally interfered with it through wrongful means; and as a result, you suffered harm to your contractual relationship. 

Interference With Prospective Economic Advantage

The second type, interference with prospective economic advantage, occurs even if there's no formal contract in place. If your business has a potential economic relationship with another party and a third party knowingly and wrongfully interferes, causing harm to your business relationship, you may have a valid claim. Here, you'll need to establish that there was indeed a business relationship or expected economic advantage; the third party knew about this; they intentionally interfered with the relationship through wrongful means; and their interference caused harm to your business relationship. 

Navigating these elements can be challenging without the aid of a seasoned business and commercial lawyer. At Caleb Bland Law, PLLC, we're committed to helping our clients understand their legal options and work tirelessly to protect their business interests. 

Ready to File a Tortious Interference Claim? These Are Your Next Steps.

If you think you have grounds for a tortious interference claim, follow these steps:  

  1. Consult with an experienced attorney. After our initial conversation and a thorough review of your situation, we'll guide you on the best course of action to pursue. 

  1. Next, we'll gather evidence that supports your case. This may include contracts, emails, or witness statements. We'll also work to establish that the interfering party knew of your contract or business relationship and intentionally interfered with it. 

  1. Once we have all the necessary evidence, we'll help you draft a demand letter outlining your claim and a proposed resolution. In most cases, this is enough to settle the dispute out of court. 

  1. If negotiations fail, we're prepared to take your case to trial and fight for your rights in court. 

Remember, understanding your rights and responsibilities is crucial in business. Knowing about tortious interference and how to prove it can make a significant difference in protecting your business relationships and prospects. Stay informed, stay protected. 

Protect What You've Worked So Hard to Build

If you need legal assistance with a potential tortious interference claim, don't hesitate to contact us for a consultation. Our team is ready to help you navigate through any roadblocks and disputes that may arise in your company's lifespan.  

Reach out to us at Caleb Bland Law, PLLC in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, to get started. We work with clients throughout the Louisville suburbs, including Shepherdsville, Bardstown, Radcliff, Brandenburg, and more.