Business Litigation: What Is Tortious Interference?

Business Litigation: What Is Tortious Interference?

“Business is a rough sport,” notes an online primer on that subject, which adds the logical point that, while some parties thrive as the result of a given business outcome, others “can suffer because of it.”

Let’s add a word here, noting also that business is often a “Darwinian” enterprise. For obvious reasons, the strong and smart prevail, while those who are outmaneuvered, ill prepared, underfunded or otherwise not up to the task of profiting in commercial pursuits fail.

And that means this: A party bested in business often lacks legal grounds to challenge the entity that proved superior in a deal or negotiation. Competition can be brutal yet fair and, when it is, the stronger simply gets the spoils.

In Arizona as elsewhere, though, competition among business rivals isn’t always fair. “[S]ometimes things can go too far,” notes the above-cited overview, “and competitive behavior can cross the line into the realm of the improper and tortious conduct.”

Specifically tortious interference, which is a concept focused upon one business entity’s wrongful conduct grounded in intent to disrupt an existing contract between other parties or interfere with a so-called “business expectancy.”

Courts don’t like that, since it is often involves deceit, business threats, market-price manipulation, blackmailing, hard-ball tactics that are clearly against public policy and other actions that undermine the sanctity of other parties’ good-faith negotiations and contractual understandings.

Tortious interference with a contract or business relationship is judicially established by a careful examination of facts surrounding a defendant’s behavior. That defendant must have had knowledge of an existing contract or business expectancy between other parties. Action alleged as wrongful must be supported by proof of a defendant’s illegal intent to interfere, actual interference and damages suffered.

A proven business and commercial law firm can answer questions regarding tortious interference and provide diligent representation on behalf of either a business entity alleging such conduct or a commercial enterprise that is defending against that legal challenge.

Call Cook & Price, PLC today at 480-407-4440 or email us through this website.

2017-09-28T05:51:12-07:00 February 9th, 2016|Categories: Business Litigation|Tags: |

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