You may have heard this phrase before: “tortious interference with contract“. It refers to the wrongful act of a third party that interferes with a contract between two other parties.
Here is an example. Assume there is a contract between John and William. Under this contract, John agrees to pay William $1000 a month to manage John’s rental properties.
Along comes Mary, and she encourages John to terminate his contract with William. Can William sue Mary for tortious interference with the contract?
To answer this question, we must know if Mary’s conduct is “wrongful” in the eyes of the law.
Not every interference with the contract between two persons is considered wrongful by law. For example, if Mary is also in the business of managing rental properties, she is entitled to compete with William in the marketplace.
There is nothing wrongful with Mary asking John for his business, even if it means William loses that business.
In addition, some persons have a privilege to interfere with the contract between two others. A good example of this is found in the workplace.
You may have an employment contract with a company. Most likely, your supervisor will a privilege of deciding whether to terminate the employment contract.
What does a plaintiff have to prove to bring a claim?
To determine whether interference by third party is “wrongful”, you must look at that person’s motive.
In Mississippi, to succeed on a tortious interference with contract claim, a plaintiff must show all of the following:
- The third party’s actions were willful and intentional.
- Those actions were calculated to cause damage to the plaintiff’s contract rights.
- The third party’s purpose was neither right nor justifiable.
- The third party succeeded in causing damage to the plaintiff.
Get Legal Advice from an Attorney
If you believe someone has tortiously interfered with one of your contracts, consult with an attorney to determine if the facts would support a tortious interference claim.
To speak with one of our Attorneys , call 601-202-1111 today.
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Original content by: Attorney Craig Panter of Panter Law Firm