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What constitutes ‘tortious interference’ in Tennessee?

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2019 | Business & Commercial Litigation

The business world can be cut-throat at times, but for the most part business people in Tennessee engage in activities that, while competitive, are still lawful. However, sometimes a person will take this competition too far, and engage in interference with business relationships and contracts. Also known as “tortious interference” this takes place when one party, with the intention of causing another party financial damage, interferes with business relationships or contracts that party has with a third party.

One example of tortious interference takes place when one party either coerces or convinces another party to breach a contract with a third party. Sometimes this takes place through threats or blackmail. However, even less-nefarious acts, such as offering a lower price with the intention of inducing the party to breach the contract, can constitute tortious interference.

It is important to remember that to constitute tortious interference, the acts must be intentional. Negligent acts alone will not constitute tortious interference. In addition to being intentional, the acts also must be done with the purpose of interfering with the other party’s business relationships or contracts. So, if a party acts intentionally, but does not intend to interfere, it does not constitute tortious interference.

Healthy competition in the business world is a good thing for the economy, but some people take things too far, and commit tortious interference. This can be incredibly damaging for the harmed party. Therefore, those who believe another party has intentionally interfered with their business relationships or contracts in order to cause them damages will want to seek the professional guidance they need to understand what steps to take next.