The Basics of Tortious Interference in Florida
Competition is the backbone of the American economy, and it is what drives greater innovation, better products and services, lower prices, and greater awareness. However, competition is not without its shortcomings. Competition also drives greed, selfishness, cheating, and scandal. For now, we are going to focus on the cheating.
Unfortunately, some business minds feel compelled to cheat to make their way to the top. Though there are many ways they can do this, one of which is to interfere with a contract between one competitor and another. This is referred to as “tortious interference,” and if it happens, the competitor who was interfered with can file a tortious interference claim.
Competition laws in Florida are pretty strict, and unlike most other states, it still upholds non-compete agreements. With that in mind, a tortious interference claim can likely end up in hefty fines and a significant judgement for the defendant. If you believe that a competitor wrongly interfered with a contract between you and another competitor, reach out to the Fort Lauderdale business litigation attorneys at the offices of Edward J. Jennings, P.A. to learn more about your legal options.
Proving Tortious Interference
As with most civil claims, the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff. As the person making the claim, you have to show the judge why you believe the defendant was guilty of tortious interference and how said interference negatively affected your bottom line. In order to prevail, you must be able to show the following to be true:
- A valid contract existed between and you the claimed third party:
- The defendant was aware that a contract existed;
- The defendant acted with the intent to get the other party to breach their agreement with you;
- The defendant acted without any legal justification whatsoever;
- Damages were sustained as a result of the defendant’s actions; and
- That the defendant’s actions caused the breach of contract.
The interference does not have to be with the contract in its entirety; a plaintiff can still have a case even if a single contractual provision was purposefully violated.
Damages Awarded in a Successful Tortious Interference Claim
If you are successful in your claim, you stand to gain any money lost as a result of the defendant’s actions. Unlike with personal injury claims, damages are strictly economic in these types of claim and are calculated based on how much you reasonably lost as a result of the defendant’s actions.
Retain the Help of an Aggressive Business Litigation Lawyer
If a competitor sabotaged your agreement with another competitor, and if you lost money as a result, you have rights. Reach out to the Fort Lauderdale business litigation attorneys at the office of Edward J. Jennings, P.A. to learn what those rights are and how you can uphold them. Schedule your consultation online to get started.