Baldwin & Briscoe P.C.
301-862-4400
22335 Exploration Drive Ste. 2030
Lexington Park, MD 20653
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Tortious Interference with Prospective Advantage

 

The tort of Tortious Interference with Prospective Advantage exists to address situations where a person improperly interferes with another’s business relationship.  Liability for Interference with Prospective Advantage can arise in various ways.  Two of the most common methods are where the defendant intentionally and improperly induces the breach of an existing contract and where the defendant intentionally and improperly interferes with an existing economic relationship or in a competitor’s business expectations.

 

  Tortious interference with business relationship is distinguished from a breach of contract claim because it requires a relationship among three parties: the two parties to a contract and the party that interferes.  A tortious interference with business relationship claim cannot succeed where both plaintiff and defendant are parties to the contract.  In that type of situation, the plaintiff may recover for breach of contract or fraud.

 

  Nevertheless, a plaintiff may recover on a claim for tortious interference with prospective advantage against a defendant with whom the plaintiff has contracted if the plaintiff can show that the defendant breached the contract in an effort to interference with the plaintiff’s business relationship with one or more third parties.

 

  In order to prove a tortious interference with business relationship, the plaintiff must show four things:

  1.       That the defendant acted intentionally and willfully

  2.       That the defendant’s actions were calculated to cause damage to the plaintiffs in their lawful business

  3.       That the defendants actions were done with the unlawful purpose to cause damage and loss, without right or justifiable cause on the part of the defendants and

  4.       That the plaintiff suffered actual damages or losses

 

  It is not enough to prove that the defendant did something that caused the plaintiff to suffer a business loss.  The plaintiff must also show that the defendants conducted themselves in some improper manner.  Examples of an “improper manner” would include things such as violence or intimidation, defamation, injurious falsehood, fraud, violation of criminal law and making groundless threats of lawsuits or criminal prosecutions.

 

  A tortious interference claim can arises when a person engages in conduct that causes another to lose a potential contract by causing a third party to cease performing, even when the cessation of performance does not constitute a breach.  A party who intentionally interferes with another’s prospective advantage is liable for damages.  To prevail on a claim for interference with prospective advantage, a plaintiff must prove:

  1.       That the defendant engaged in intentional and willful acts

  2.       That the acts were calculated to cause damage to the Plaintiff in a loss of business; and

  3.       That the acts were committed with the unlawful or improper purpose to cause such damage without justification and actual damages resulted.

 

  A person who improperly causes another to discontinue business relationship with the plaintiff may be liable for tortious interference with prospective advantage.  This occurs when the defendant causes the plaintiff to lose a contract or causes a third party to stop performing under an existing contract when the refusal to perform does not constitute a breach, such as refusal to exercise an option.

 

  The courts will examine a variety of factors to determine whether the defendant has intentionally interfered with a contract or prospective contract of another.  Some of these factors are:

  1.       The nature of the actor’s conduct

  2.       The actor’s motive

  3.       The interest of the other with which the actor’s conduct interferes;

  4.       The interests sought to be advanced by the actor;

  5.       The social interests in protecting the freedom of action of the actor and the contractual interests of the other

  6.       The proximity or remoteness of the actor’s conduct to the interference; and

  7.       The relationship between the parties

 

  To prove a claim for intentional interference, it is necessary that the plaintiff establish that defendant not only acted intentionally and willfully to interfere with the defendant’s contract or prospective advantage, but also that the defendant’s conduct was specifically directed at the plaintiff’s business relationship with others. 

 

 

The information contained on this page is provided as general information and does not constitute legal advice.  The experienced attorneys at Baldwin & Briscoe, P.C. can assist you if you have, or believe you may have, a claim for Tortious Interference with Prospective Advantage.  We’d be happy to sit down with you and review your situation and provide appropriate advice.  Call today for a no-obligation consultation.  There is no consultation fee for cases involving personal injury.

 

 

The Law Offices of Baldwin & Briscoe, P.C. also offers these services:

Bankruptcy and ForeclosureBusiness LawCivil LitigationCriminal DefenseEmployment, Disability, and Consumer RightsFamily LawGovernment Contracts LawIntellectual Property, Personal InjuryReal Estate, Social Security Disability & Workers’ Compensation and Wills, Trusts, & Estates

 

 

Contact Us

The Law Offices of Baldwin, Briscoe & Steinmetz, P.C.

22335 Exploration Drive

Suite 2030

Lexington Park, MD 20653

301-862-4400 Phone

301-862-3009 Fax

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Samuel C.P. Baldwin, Jr., Esq.

Janice Briscoe, Esq.

Richard J. Steinmetz Jr., Esq.

David J. Hebb, Esq.

Sandra Kaufman Jonasen, Esq.


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With an office conveniently located in Lexington Park, The Law Offices of Baldwin, Briscoe & Stienmetz, P.C. serves clients in the counties and cities of Lexington Park, Leonardtown, Hollywood, Mechanicsville, Loveville, Helen, Breton Bay, Chaptico, Charlotte Hall, Golden Beach, Avenue, La Plata, Waldorf, Newburg, Port Tobacco, Port Charles, Solomons Island, Prince Frederick, Chesapeake Shores, Hughesville, Benedict, Nanjemoy, Lusby, Port Republic, St. Mary's County, Charles County, Calvert County, Prince George's County, Southern Maryland.


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