Business Interference Torts
When two businesses decide to work together, whether under the formal agreements of a contract or through a less clearly defined economic relationship, they may form an extremely profitable partnership. While this helps these businesses, it may make basic operations more difficult for competitors, who do not have the benefits of a similarly strong relationship. As a result, these parties may take action against the two entities in an economic relationship to break them apart.
There are essentially two classifications for actions against businesses working together. The first is an attack on any contracts these groups may share. Known in tort law as interference with contracts, an outside group may intentionally attempt to incite one party to break their contract with another. If this occurs without any sort of intent or prior knowledge regarding the contracted companies, it may not be legally construed as wrongdoing.
In addition to interfering with a contract, a third-party group may work to sabotage a relationship in a more general sense. If, in these situations, a third-party business attempts to break apart an economic relationship intentionally, the affected companies may take legal action against the disruptors. However, this may again not be constructed legally as wrongdoing if the disabling party does not benefit from breaking apart these two businesses or if no damages actually occurs as a result of the disruption.
As with most tort cases, the penalties for defendants held liable generally cover any compensation for damages. In addition, a debtor may have to pay for the plaintiff's legal fees in certain situations. If the claim goes to court, the defensive may even be asked to pay punitive fees in connection to their wrongdoing.
To learn more about business law and interference torts, contact a business lawyer.