CHAPTER 5 MISCELLANEOUS TORTS AFFECTING BUSINESS LAW 122
Other Important Torts in business Context:
Interference with contractual relationships
Unlawful interference with economic relations
The rule in Rayland’s v Fletcher
Act of Conspiracy usually occurs when two or more defendants agree to act
together with the primary purpose of causing financial loss to the plaintiff.
Law condones aggressive competition between individuals, but its sense of fair
play may be offended if several people conspire against another.
Hard to prove in courts
Cant distinguish if defendants primary purpose of hurting the plaintiff
Rules are different if the defendant injured the plaintiff by conspiring to perform
an unlawful act.
Concerned with unethical business practices
Intimidation: occurs when the plaintiff suffers a loss as results of the defendant’s
threat to commit an unlawful act against either the plaintiff or a third party.
Tort of intimidation ahs to branches
o Two-Party intimidation: occurs when the defendant directly coerces the
plaintiff into suffering a loss
Ex. Manger of a supermarket might use threats of physical
violence to frighten the owner of a small convenience store into
Three party intimidations: occurs when the defendant coerces a third
party into acting in a way that hurts the plaintiff.
First Plaintiff must prove that the defendant threatened to commit an unlawful act,
such as a crime, or tort, or even a breach of contract
Second, the tort does not occur unless the threatened party gave in to the
intimidation Third, as long as the other elements of the tort are established, there is no need to
prove that the defendant intended to hurt the plaintiff.
INTERFERENCE WITH CONTRACTUAL RELATIONS
Most effective ways of gaining an advantage over competitors in the business
world is to hire away its best workers or otherwise prevent those people from
performing their jobs.
Interference with contractual relations: occurs when the defendant disrupts a
contract that the plaintiff has with another party.
o Direct inducement to breach of contract
o Indirect inducement to breach of contract
Direct inducement to breach of contract
o Occurs when the defendant directly persuades a third party to break its
contract with the plaintiff. Liability requires four factors
first the defendant must know about the contract
the defendant must intend to cause the third party to break that
third, the defendant must actually cause the third party to break its
contract with the plaintiff
fourth, the plaintiff must suffer a loss as a result of the defendants
Indirect inducement to breach of contract
• Occurs when the defendant indirectly persuades a third party to break its
contract with the plaintiff
UNLAWFUL INTERFERENCE WITH ECONOMIC RELATIONS
May occur if the defendant commits an unlawful act for the purpose of causing
the plaintiff to suffer an economic loss.
Name of tort Unlawfulness Intent to harm
Conspiracy Defendants act may Lawful act-hurting the plaintiff must be
be lawful or unlawful defendants primary purpose
Unlawful act-hurting plaintiff foreseeable
Intimidation Defendant must Defendants act must be directed at plaintiff-but
threaten unlawful act hurting plaintiff need not be defendants
Interference Indirect inducement- Defendants act must be directed at plaintiff-but
with to breach of contract- hurting plaintiff need not be defendants
contractual defendants act must primary purpose
relations be unlawful Interference Defendants act must Defendants act must be directed at plaintiff-but
with economic be unlawful or hurting plaintiff need not be defendants
relations unauthorized primary purpose
Occurs if the defendant makes a false statement, which it knows to be untrue, with
which it intends to mislead the plaintiff, and which causes the plaintiff to suffer a
loss. ( four parts to the definition)
1. defendant must make a false statement
• defendant may know half the truth
• defendant liable for failing to update information
2. the defendant must know, at the time of making a statement ,
that it is false
3. the defendant must make the statement with the intention of
misleading the plaintiff.—does not have to be made directly to the
4. the plaintiff must suffer a loss as a result of reasonably relying
upon the defendants statement
Caveat emptor “let the buyer beware”
The seller is not obligated to volunteer information
-Occupiers liability: requires an occupier of premises to protect visitors from harm.
Occupier: any person who has substantial control over a premises
Visitor: any person who enters onto premises
Premises: include more than land, ships, planes, vehicles,
Law of occupier’s liability is complicated, partly because it differs between
o Common law Rules ( made by judges)
o Statutory rules (made by legislators)
COMMON LAW RULES
Traditional common law rules recognized four categories of visitors. Each visitor owed a
different type of obligation
1. An occupier must do more than simply refrain from intentionally or recklessly
hurting a trespasser.
a. Law now uses a d