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Understanding tortious interference and what to do about it

New Jersey businesses that work hard to be creative, cobble together products or ideas and make deals with others will obviously want to be the ones who benefit from that. Unfortunately, there are times when third parties will try to sabotage that hard work, engage in unfair competition, and go further than good-natured and legal competition allows. Crossing the line and engaging in tortious interference can lead to numerous problems for the business that has been affected.

There is tortious interference when a party interferes with another party's relationships or contracts to damage them. The most frequent occurrence of tortious interference is when an individual somehow convinces another to break a contract they had with another party. There are many ways to do this. They can make a better financial offer, undercutting the original party with whom there was an agreement; they can use threats and coercion; or they can take steps to make it impossible for the agreement to be carried out as contracted.

If a company believes it has been negatively affected by tortious interference and would like to sue, it is required that the party that is believed to have committed the act did so intentionally. It is not sufficient for them to have simply been negligent. The courts will look at why the party breached the agreement between the other two parties leading to the belief that tortious interference had taken place. It will be examined to see if impropriety was going on. If there was no impropriety in the action, then it is unlikely there will be a finding of tortious interference.

Business is not an easy endeavor and when trying to complete agreements, it is inevitable that others will seek to serve their own ends in a variety of ways. Some might break the law by engaging in illegal acts. If there is a belief that tortious interference has taken place, having legal assistance with an experienced business lawyer is essential to seek compensation.

Source: smallbusiness.findlaw.com, "Tortious Interference," accessed on Aug. 29, 2017

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