I frequently speak with clients who want to explore the prospects of a business lawsuit against a party. Many believe that if they have a factual scenario that will show they have been treated unfairly, they have a case. The law doesn’t work that way. In order to win a lawsuit, your facts have to fit certain legal criteria (often called “elements”) by a greater weight of the evidence. I will have a weekly series where I set forth the elements for various causes of action.
The cause of action for today is the legal claim of tortious interference with existing contract. The elements for this claim are as follows:
1. the existence of a valid contract between you and another party that is subject to interference;
2. willful and intentional interference with that contract (by the party you want to sue);
3. interference that caused damage;
4. actual damage or loss.
Please note that each of these elements has a legal definition. For instance the terms “willful” and “intentional” have their own unique meanings that must be proven.
There is also a business tort called tortious interference with prospective business relations which I will write about next week.