Your Rights When a Competitor Wrongfully Interferes with Your Business Agreement
Suppose that you work really hard to get a contract with a new customer. That customer has other agreements for different products with another vendor. That other vendor threatens to stop providing any goods to your new customer unless the agreement with you is terminated. What can you do?
Tortious Interference with a Business Contract
You may have a claim against the other vendor for wrongful, or tortious, interference with a business contract. To succeed with such a claim, you must be able to prove that:
- You had a valid and enforceable contract with a third party
- The vendor (the defendant) knew about the existence of your contract with the third party
- The vendor intentionally sought to interfere with or negatively affect your contract with the third party
- The interference was wrongful or improper
- Because of the interference, the third party terminated or breached your contract
- You suffered monetary losses as a result of the termination of the agreement
What Types of Acts are Considered to Be Intentional?
The defendant’s actions will be deemed intentional if you can show that the defendant’s primary objective was to cause a breach of contract or otherwise interfere with the contract. It’s also sufficient if you can show that the defendant had a substantial certainty that his or her actions would result in the breach or interference with the contract.
What Makes the Interference “Improper”?
There is no hard and fast rule for determining whether such conduct is improper. Typically, the court will need to balance a number of factors and interests, including the nature of the conduct, the motives involved, the actual impact the actions had on the parties and the nature of the relationships between all parties involved.
Contact Attorney Howard N. Sobel
At the office of Howard N. Sobel, we provide comprehensive legal counsel to businesses and business owners. Contact our office online or call us at 856-424-6400 to set up a free initial consultation. Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged upon request. We accept all major credit cards.