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If you are on either side of a tortious interference case, or would like to learn whether or not you have a case, call a business litigation lawyer to set up an appointment.
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The Law on Tort and Tortious Interference
When you depend on business contracts, the last thing you want is for the signee to breach the contract, especially a non-competition contract. Perhaps a state, county, or local official is out of control and abusing his power by interfering with your economic advantage or business contracts. If so, you are going to need a business attorney to help you understand the law of tort and guide you to a positive outcome.
Tortious interference is when a party outside of a contract or business relationship can interfere with your economic advantage or business contracts in a ‘wrongful’ manner. The law provides recourse through a claim for tortious interference with contract or economic advantage.
Types of Tortious Interference
There are two main types of tortious interference. The first is with contracts in business. If you have a non-competition business contract with a party, and a competitor of yours starts trying to recruit them, then that competitor might have committed tortious interference of your business contract. This can be very difficult to prove, but if you and your business attorney succeed, you will have severely damaged the defendant’s position.
The second type of tortious interference is when a government official makes up rules or falsifies documents in order to harm your business. It might sound farfetched, but it does happen and it significantly harms legitimate businesses. If you think your business has been jeopardized in this way, you should contact our corporate attorneys in Seattle as soon as possible.
Tortious Interference with Contract or Business Expectancy
The law of torts governs all civil wrongs at law other than breaches of contract (and related claims). The law recognizes the tort (civil wrong) of tortious interference, including claims of tortious interference with contract and tortious interference with business expectancy.
This doctrine is useful when a 3rd party has caused damage to the business interests of a company or individual. In order to prevail, a plaintiff must prove wrongfulness other than from the interference itself. The business interest that was damaged must be sufficiently strong and of a sort that the law recognizes as sufficient. Typically, that includes contracts and agreements, such as an employment contract, a business contract, a contractor agreement, an agreement for employment, or business to business contracts. On occasion, given sufficient proof of probability, it is possible to prevail on a claim for tortious interference with a reasonable business expectancy. Such expectancy may include a documented agreement to contract (as opposed to a contract itself).
Critically, a plaintiff claiming tortious interference also has to prove causation. That means he or she must prove that the contract was lost substantially because of the interference alleged, rather than due to the plaintiff’s own fault or some other cause.
The business litigation attorneys at NWBizLaw have had considerable success with tortious interference claims, and have helped develop the law on point in Oregon. Please call (206) 209-0069 to make an appointment at our Seattle law firm, or (503) 224-9946 to do so in Portland.