Tortious Interference Texas
Texas Tortious Interference With Contract
Tortious Interference With Contract Texas
In business, competition can be tough. Tortious interference occurs when an individual or corporation unethically takes competition too far and unlawfully interferes with your business to harm it or prevent contract obligations from being fulfilled as promised. Businesses that have been harmed by tortious interference can sue for damages in civil court.
Texas Tortious Interference Claims: Contracts vs. Business
Tortious Interference With Prospective Business Relations
Tortious interference claims in business interactions can take two forms, depending on the nature of the interference: interference of existing contracts or interference of prospective business relations.
Tortious interference of contracts: When a person purposefully breaks a formal contract between two parties, causing one of the parties to breach the contract or otherwise violate the relationship’s terms. To prove tortious interference with an existing contract, you must show that the contract exists, that a third party interfered with it, and that you were harmed as a result of the interference.
Tortious interference of prospective business: When a third party makes false accusations or utilizes other illegal tactics against you or your company in order to purposefully drive business away or prevent another party from doing business with you. To prove tortious interference with prospective business relations, there must be a reasonable probability that you (the plaintiff) would have entered into a business relationship with a third party if the “defendant” had not interfered, and that you suffered damages as a result of that interference.
Examples of Tortious Interference:
- Threaten, push, or persuade someone to break a contract by blackmailing, threatening, forcing, or persuading them.
- Blackmail, threaten, coerce, or persuade someone not to conduct business with a company they might otherwise do business with.
- To provoke a contract violation, offer prices below market value.
- Obstructing someone’s capacity to fulfill a contract with a client by refusing to deliver products that are expected.
- Interfering with a contractor’s or other third party’s capacity to fulfill his or her contractual duties knowingly
- Acts that are done with the intent of preventing someone from successfully developing or sustaining business relationships.
- Violating confidentiality or non-compete agreements
Defense Against a Tortious Interference Claim
“Justification” is one of the possible defenses to tortious interference with contracts and potential business partnerships.
The defense of justification might be founded on the exercise of one’s own legal rights or a good-faith claim (to a colorable legal right in good faith to interfere).
In a non-compete case, for example, the defendant can show justification by demonstrating:
- Exercise of one’s own legal rights: The non-compete agreement is unenforceable in the eyes of the law.
- Good Faith to a Colorable (Possible) Legal Right: The defendant thought, even if incorrectly, that the non-compete was legally unenforceable or that the company did not divulge confidential information OR that the non-compete was overly broad.
Legal Representation and Defense for Texas Tortious Interference
Tortious Interference Examples
Contractual relationships are becoming increasingly complex for businesses of all kinds, and resolving conflicts through litigation necessitates a comprehensive strategy. We have years of commercial litigation experience, which allows us to successfully and cost-effectively lead our clients through the litigation process, regardless of the nature of their disagreement or business law issue.
A claim for tortious interference with contract, like most civil actions, has a two-year statute of limitations from the date of the claimed act of interference. Don’t put off getting the support you require. Get in touch with the Law Office of Kurt W. Carpenter, PLLC.
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