Tortious Interference With Business
In the business arena, if a case does not fit within the realm of a defamation case, i.e. where a competitor or disgruntled customer disparages the name of a business, there are other effective causes of action to pursue to stop the bleeding. And these separate and distinct causes of action are perhaps easier to prove than defamation: Tortious Interference with business opportunity and economic advantage.
There are two causes of action within tortious interference with business, known as Tortious Interference with Contract and Tortious Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage. One example of these torts is when a company employee or company insider uses his knowledge of a company's procedures and/or customers to essentially steal business away. Another example can be a third-party guilty of one of these torts.
The method of the wrongdoer can be to siphon away business clients by access to client or customer lists, and then underselling the victim. Or, the wrongdoer might convince a customer of the business to breach the contract with the company to his/her benefit.
Damages in such cases stem from clear proof of lost business, existing or prospective, of the victim-business. This can be shown with financial or bank statements, profit and loss statements, tax returns, and other evidence showing a decrease in business caused by the bad acts of the insider or third-party.
Our New York City business litigation lawyers handle tortious interference with business cases for business of varying disciplines and sizes.
Individual consumers are not the only people with rights. Businesses can be victims too. A large percentage of Kupillas, Unger & Benjamin, LLP practice is the representation of businesses when they get hurt. And the law recognizes economic injuries to businesses. In today’s economy, the value of any business lies in its good will with its customers and clients, its reputation, its financial relationships, or its unique product or service. A business can be “injured” by some person or other business, which jeopardizes its continued prosperity.
Examples of cases of tortious interference that New York City lawyer Robert Unger has taken on have been where an employee of many years of a company, leaves and starts his/her own identical business taking the intellectual property and trade secrets of his former employer, along with the clients, with him. Our lawyers successfully pursued the employee who siphoned away client good will and relationships that our client developed over decades in the business. Another example is when a partner left a partnership and continued in the same business on his own. The former partner, distraught over his partner leaving, conducted a campaign of disparaging his former partner and stealing clients away in the process. The attorneys at our New York City firm were able to hold the former partner accountable.
The general common law protects plaintiffs from false and harmful statements by libel and slander laws, and New York protects businesses from such statements. Trade disparagement includes harmful statements about the products and services of a business. For example, if a competitor falsely publishes that you are not honest in your trade, or a false statement that you continually defraud your customers – this type of disparagement harms your business’ reputation in the eyes of your customer and your business partners. The result is an economic injury in lost sales and lost opportunities to do business. If a competitor uses your trade name or logo is association with product you didn’t make or service you don’t provide. This is an example of trademark infringement.
The New York City attorneys at the Kupillas, Unger & Benjamin, LLP advocate for businesses as vigorously as more unsophisticated consumers. Businessmen and women want to focus on making new and continuing old business, and rarely can be shackled with the devastating affects of a rogue partner, employee or even customer who is out to get him/her. A lawsuit for Tortious Interference with Business is a mechanism to convince the tortfeasor that their actions are serious and can subject them to financial pain should they persist in a wrongful and meritless course of action against their former partner, competitor, employer or customer.