You may file a tortious interference lawsuit against a business if they breach your contract and cause you harm. Consider a scenario where you’ve put in a lot of effort to cultivate a fruitful business connection. But a business or an individual wrongfully obstructs this business relationship.
What do you do then? Under Texas law, you have the right to sue the business for intentional tampering with clients. In legal terms, it is termed filing a tortious interference lawsuit.
Interference With Business Relations
Tortious interference with business relationships occurs when a third party knowingly takes action that causes one party in a business relationship to break the terms of its commercial relationship with the other. “Tortious Interference of Business” or “Interference with Prospective Contract” are also interchangeably used.
While contracts are one possible foundation for commercial partnerships, many more are established via informal means, such as a handshake transaction or a discussion of past deals. Therefore, several unjust actions or business practices might interfere with commercial relationships, not only a contract violation.
Tortious interference encompasses a wide range of wrongdoings, one of which is the disruption of commercial interactions. Both breaches of contract and interference with contractual relations are included in the broader tort of tortious interference. The only real difference is that a legitimate contract does not already exist in the second case.
For a free legal consultation, call 844-349-9196
Types of Business Relationships That Can Be Subject to Interference in Texas
You can file a tortious interference lawsuit if a third party disrupts your business contract or hinders your professional relationship. The two types of interference you can sue for are:
- Tortious interference with contract: The defendant intentionally stops a party from following the terms of a legally binding contract, or the defendant’s actions cause the other party to break the contract.
- Tortious interference with business relations: These are exaggerated claims about you or your company that damage your reputation. It is similar to you suffering financial loss because someone slanders your company.
How Can You Prove Tortious Interference?
If a business causes harm by interfering with your client’s relationships with another party, they may be liable for tortious interference. An existing or potential business connection or contract might be the basis for a tortious interference claim. The two types of interference must hold different clauses to prove their existence.
Tortious Interference With Contract
For tortious interference with an existing contract to be established, it must be shown that:
- You’re bound by a contract that’s “subject to interference,”
- One of the parties to your contract “willfully and purposefully” tampered with it, and
- You suffered real consequences due to the intervention.
Tortious Interference With Business Relations
For tortious interference with a prospective business contract or relationship, it must be shown that:
- If things had fallen into place, you’d have settled on terms or launched a business partnership
- The planned deal or partnership was “willfully and knowingly” hindered by a third party
- It was “independently tortious” to meddle
- The disruption was quite real in its effects on you
Tortious Interference Statute of Limitations in Texas
If you want to sue someone for tortious interference in Texas, you must do so quickly. The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that business interference lawsuits fall under the statute of limitations outlined under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.003(a), which counts as “trespass for injury to the estate or to the property of another.”
There is a two-year window starting from the date of the claim. A competent business attorney is an absolute must if you want to win your case. Consult with a commercial litigation attorney to discuss your options.
Damages You Can Recover in a Tortious Interference Case
You may be entitled to compensation for different types of damages as the victim of tortious interference in Texas. Some forms of monetary compensation need expert evidence. Nevertheless, your commercial litigation attorney will help you with the legal aspect of your case.
In Texas, you may sue for the following damages:
- Monetary loss: The company’s documented economic losses.
- Profit loss: Profits that were expected but not realized due to disruptions to contracts or commercial relationships.
- Punitive damages: Damages meant to deter others from repeating wrongdoing by the defendant.
Speak With Our Commercial Litigation Lawyers Today
Cases involving tortious interference are often contentious and difficult to settle. Common questions include whether or not the defendant was aware of the existence of the contract, whether or not the defendant’s behavior was the direct cause of any harm, and whether or not you experienced any monetary loss as a consequence of the defendant’s acts.
It is crucial to have assertive legal counsel to sue a business that interfered with your clients. The Buzbee Law Firm has a team of commercial litigation attorneys who can assist you with the right legal actions for your specific case. Contact us today to learn more during a consultation.