Interfering with a contract may lead to civil liability

On Behalf of | Oct 8, 2020 | Firm News |

As a business owner, you have a keen interest in completing their negotiated contracts. If a third party interferes with an existing contract, you may also have a legal cause of action against the interferer.

In certain situations, Minnesota law allows victims of tortious contract interference to pursue legal damages. Doing so may compensate your company its interference-related losses.

The elements of tortious interference

For a successful civil claim, you must satisfy each element of tortious interference. While these elements vary from state to state, Minnesota law requires you prove each of the following:

  • The existence of a contract
  • The alleged interferer’s knowledge of the contract
  • The alleged interferer’s intentional causing of a breach of the contract
  • A lack of legal justification for the breach
  • Your company’s damages

Intentional procurement of a contact breach

While many of the elements of tortious interference are self-evident, others may be more difficult to address. Proving the third element, intentional procurement of a contract breach, can be particularly onerous.

To satisfy this element, you probably need more than just proof of contact knowledge and breach of contract. That is, you likely must show the interferer actively took steps to sabotage your company’s existing contract.

Lack of justification

Proving a third party had no justification for interfering with your company’s contract may also be tough. For a successful claim, you may need to have evidence the third party had a bad motive when interfering with the contract.

Succeeding with a tortious interference claim usually requires a careful analysis of the entirety of the circumstances. Nevertheless, if you can prove an interferer lacked justification for impeding your contract, your company may recover considerable financial damages.