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What Qualifies as a Business Tort?

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help You With Business Tort Litigation.

Whenever a conflict arises that causes harm to a business, a business tort could exist. Many business conflicts could endanger your business. The harm could be financial and threaten to close your business. The harm might even be the theft of trade secrets.

A business tort always involves the economic effects of wrongful acts that impact one or more businesses or other legal entities. Many begin with contract disputes that two or more parties cannot resolve. Then, lawsuits get filed in federal or state civil courts and sometimes both.

The plaintiff in a business tort must cite at least one cause of action for the lawsuit to proceed. A cause of action is comprised of legal facts that justify the lawsuit. Most business torts involve one or more of the following causes of action:

  • Tortious interference.
  • Injurious falsehood.
  • Restraint of trade.
  • Unfair competition.
  • Fraudulent misrepresentation.

Other causes of action also exist, and most business torts involve a combination. The plaintiff usually seeks a judgment for cash, property, or affirmation of a legal right.

Tortious Interference Affects Prior Business Relationships

Tortious interference happens when an offending party interferes with a business’ contractual relationships with others. The offending party might make it impossible for your business to complete a contractual obligation. When your business cannot perform its obligations, tortious interference might be a valid cause of action in a lawsuit.

Injurious Falsehood Explained

You likely understand the general concept of defamation. If another party spreads a malicious lie that damages your business’ brand reputation, an injurious falsehood occurs. Malice must be shown and refers to intentionally spreading a known falsehood with the intent to cause damage to your business’ brand reputation.

How Restraint of Trade Could Occur?

When an offending party does something that limits your amount of trade, sales, or delivery of goods or services, a restraint of trade happens. Whenever your business cannot continue normal operations due to the actions of other parties, a restraint of trade might be claimed as a cause of action.

Many Kinds of Unfair Competition

Unfair competition has potentially widely varying actions that could result in the cause of action triggering a civil suit. Stealing your trade secrets or using your intellectual property to siphon away some of your market shares are examples of unfair competition. The unfair competition gives the offending party greater leverage to generate profit at your expense.

Fraudulent Misrepresentation Could Void Contracts

When one party intentionally lies in order to secure a business agreement, that is a form of fraudulent misrepresentation. The misrepresentation is done with the intent to deceive a business or an individual. It might involve contractual negotiations or other business dealings and could occur in many ways, including the omission of information.

Punitive Damages Might Be Sought

When a malicious act creates one or more legitimate causes of action that you could prove in court, the defendant might be subject to punitive damages. You would have to request punitive damages in a court filing or amend an existing case to request them. However, it is important to note that punitive damages are rare.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help You With Business Tort Litigation

Our Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. can help you explore your legal options when you must resolve a business dispute. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.