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LAW 122 (618)
Chapter 5

Chapter 5
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Department
Law and Business
Course
LAW 122
Professor
Avi Weisman
Semester
Fall

Description
Monday October 4 , 2011 Chapter 5 Miscellaneous Torts Affecting Business Miscellaneous Torts Affecting Business: -it is important for business students to be aware of certain torts affecting the normal course of business operations -tort law mediates a compromise of competing values and interests  aggressive competition vs. fair play  market forces vs. legal intervention -8 miscellaneous torts grouped by themes in this chapter  conspiracy  intimidation  interference with contractual relations  unlawful interference with economic relations  deceit  occupiers liability  nuisance  the rule in Rylands vs. Fletcher  defamation  injurious falsehood Conspiracy: -law generally condones aggressive competition between individuals, its sense of fair play may be offended if several people conspire against it -occurs when 2 or more defendants agree to act together with the primary purpose of causing the plaintiff to suffer a financial loss -magic in numbers: no tort if 1 person hurts another economically  the laws sense of fair play may be offended if several people conspire against another -tort is hard to prove; need to show that defendant’s primary purpose was hurting the plaintiff -easier to prove if defendants conspired to commit unlawful act; only need to show that defendants should have known that actions may hurt plaintiff Intimidation: - concerned with unethical business practices -occurs whenrdlaintiff suffers a loss as a result of defendants threat to commit unlawful act against plaintiff or 3 party -tort of intimidation has 2 branches:  two party intimidation - defendant pressured plaintiff directly   three party intimidation - defendant pressured third party to hurt plaintiff -whether intimidation involves 2 or 3 parties the basic rule remains the same plaintiff must prove: 1. plaintiff must prove that the defendant threatened to an unlawful act  Example: crime, tort, or even a breach of contract 2. tort does not occur unless the threatened party gave in to the intimidation  Example: plaintiff would not have won in Rookes vs. Bannd if the airline had ignored the unions threat Monday October 4 , 2011 3. as long as there elements of torts are established there is no need to prove that the defendant intended to hurt the plaintiff Interference with Contractual Relations: -One way to get an advantage is to hire away best workers OR prevent those people from doing their job -tort occurs when defendant disrupts a contract that exists between the plaintiff and a third-party -risk management:  danger in luring away competitor’s customers  danger in luring away competitor’s workers - Direct Inducement to Breach occurs when the defendant directly persuades third party to break its contracts  convince customer to break agreement  convince employee to quit job  Plaintiff must prove: 1. defendant knew about contract: rd  Must know about the contract that exists between the 3 party and the plaintiff, however it does not have to know all the details 2. defendant intended to cause breach of contract:  Caused the third party to break the contract  Defendant does not have to intend to hurt the plaintiff 3. defendant actually caused breach of contract (encouraged the breach): rd  Example: defendant might hire the 3 party for a job that makes it impossible for that person to work for the plaintiff, in this situation judges will ask whether the defendant actually encouraged 3 party to commit a breach of contract 4. plaintiff suffered loss:  plaintiff suffers a loss as a result the defendant conducts -Indirect Inducement to Breach:  steal worker’s tools to prevent performance  need to also show that defendant’s acts were unlawful  defendant indirectly persuades a third party to break its crdtract with the plaintiff  Example: defendant may physically prevent the 3 party from going to work or steal tools that the 3 party needs to perform the contract with Unlawful Interference w/Economic Relations: -occurs if defendant commits an unlawful act for the purpose of causing the plaintiff to suffer economic loss; general tort -even if can`t satisfy the requirements of the other torts, D can still be liable Deceit: - occurs if defendant makes false statement which it knows is untrue, which it intends to mislead plaintiff and cause plaintiff to suffer a loss  false statement – positively untrue, half-truth, failure to update information  plaintiff is entitled to be put into the position that it would have enjoyed if the defendant had not lied  Example: suppose I tricked you into buying an apartment for me for $600000 but it is actually worth $500000, if my deceitful statement had been true it would have been worth $750000, in tort you are entitled to $100000 not $250000 Monday October 4 , 2011  defendant knew that statement was false  defendant made statement with intention of misleading  plaintiff suffers a loss by reasonably relying on statement  business people avoid lying and creating wrong perception Occupiers Liability: -requires occupier to protect visitors from harm  occupier = person with substantial control of premises  “Control” not ownership!!  Example: a tentant can control an apartment without owning it  Premises = land, ships, trains, planes, elevators, etc  Scope of occupiers liability is quite wide and very dangerous, most business still occupy premises that are visited by customers, suppliers, sales rep., cleaners etc. if one of those visitors trips over a step, slips on spilled food, crashes into a glass window or is beaten by another visitor, then the business may be held liable as a result of being the occupier -common law used to deal with each type of ``visitor`
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