Tortious interference is a legal term that may sound complex, but its meaning is quite simple. It refers to a situation where one person intentionally interferes with another person’s business relationships or contracts. If you think someone is meddling in your business dealings, you might have grounds for a tortious interference claim.
However, before you proceed, it is crucial to understand that certain elements must be in place to successfully assert a claim of tortious interference.
Existence of a valid contract or business relationship
The first element you need to establish is that a valid contract or a profitable business relationship existed. This contract does not always have to be legally binding or formal; a business relationship that could potentially profit you also counts.
Knowledge of the relationship or contract
The next step is to prove that the person accused of interference had knowledge about this contract or business relationship. If the third party did not know about your contract or business relationship, it would be hard to prove they intentionally interfered with it.
Intentional interference is an essential part of a tortious interference claim. You must show that the accused party purposely and without justification induced a breach of the contract or the relationship. If the interference was accidental or incidental, it would not count towards a tortious interference claim.
Harm as a result of interference
The final element is to show that you suffered economic harm or damage as a result of this interference. This could mean loss of income, loss of a business opportunity or additional costs incurred as a result of dealing with the interference.
When you can prove these four elements, you are on the right track toward establishing a tortious interference claim.