Business Litigation Interference with Prospective Contracts

While tortious interference deals with claims made when a contract is already in place, there is another category for relationships that have not yet been made official. Interference with prospective contracts deals with just that—attempting to prevent a contract from being agreed to by two parties. As business disputes go, such conduct is illegal.

It is difficult enough to start a new business but having a third party intentionally interfere with a new business with the intent to injure it is wrong. To prevail on a claim for tortious interference with prospective business relations, the plaintiff must establish: 1) there was a reasonable probability that the plaintiff would have entered into a business relationship with a third party; 2) the defendant either acted with a conscious desire to prevent the relationship from occurring or knew the interference was certain or substantially certain to occur as a result of the conduct; 3) the defendant’s conduct was independently tortious or unlawful; 4) the interference proximately caused the plaintiff injury; and 5) the plaintiff suffered actual damage or loss as a result.

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