Law Chapter 5: Miscellaneous Torts Affecting Business
• Conspiracy: Usually occurs when two or more defendants agree to act together
with the primary purpose of causing the plaintiff to suffer a financial loss.
• Intimidation: Occurs when the plaintiff suffers a loss as a result of the
defendant’s threat to commit an unlawful act against either the plaintiff or a third
Two party intimidation: occurs when defendant directly coerces the plaintiff
into suffering a loss.
Three party intimidation: occurs when the defendant coerces a third party
into acting in a way that hurts the plaintiff.
Interference with Contractual Relations
• Interference with contractual relations: Occurs when the defendant disrupts a
contract that exists between the plaintiff and the third party.
• A direct inducement to breach of contract: Occurs when the defendant directly
persuades a third party to break its contract with the plaintiff.
First The defendant must know about the contract that the contract exists
between the third party and the plaintiff.
Second The defendant must intend to cause the third party to brach that
Fourth The plaintiff must have suffered a loss as a result of the defentants
• 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
• Unlawful interference with economic relations: May occur if the defendant
commits a unlawful act for the purpose of causing the plaintiff to suffer an
defendants act must be directed at the plaintiff but hurting plaintiff need not be
defendants primary purpose.
• Deceit: 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.
• The defendant may be held liable for a half truth
• The defendant may be held liable for failing to update information.
• Business people must not only avoid lying: they must avoid creating the wrong
• The defendant must know at the time of making a statement, that it is false.
• The defendant must make the statement with the intention of misleading the
plaintiff. • The plaintiff must suffer a loss as a result of reasonably relying upon the
• Occupiers liability: Requires and occupier of premises to protect visitors
• Occupier: Any person who has substantial control over premises.
• Visitor: Any person who enters onto premises
• Premises: Include more than land.
Common Law Rules
• It can lump together different types of people. Ex: a burglar who breaks into an
office is a trespasser but so is a child who wanders onto a construction site.
• It is often difficult to distinguish between different catagories.
• A visitors status may change form one moment to the next. Ex: A customer who
refuses a request to leave a store is transferred from an invitee to a trespasser.
• It is often difficult to decide whether a danger is hidden or unusual. Ex does an icy
parking lot during a Canadian winter satisfy either requirement?
• Because of difficulties, the juristictions that still use common law rules have
• Now an occupier must do more than simply refrain from intentionally or
recklessly hurting the trespasser. The occupiers obligations are determined by a
number of factors, including:
The age of the trespasser
The reason for the trespass
The nature of the danger that caused the injury
The occupiers knowledge of that danger
The occupiers cost of removing that danger.
• Licensees and invitees are now generally treated the same. An occupier must
protect them both from unusual dangers. Previously, a licensee was protected
from only hidden dangers.
• Because of the problems associated with common law rules, six provinces have
enacted legislation to govern occupiers liability.
• Common law generally only applies to dangers that are created by the condition
of the premises. The legislation also applies to activities that occur on the
• Also the standard of care no longer depends upon the visitors classification. Nor
are special distinctions drawn between, say, hidden or unusual dangers. An
occupier must use reasonable care, which depends upon a number of factors
the potential danger of the visitor
the occupiers cost of removing the danger The purpose of the visit
The nature of the premises
• The statutes generally allow an occupier to avoid liability by issuing a warning.
• Under common law, a landlord generally cannot be held liable for injuries that a
person suffers while visiting a tenant. Under legislation a landlord may be held
liable to a visitor if it fails to make repa