If you had a contract with someone and a third-party caused some type of breach of the contract, you may be able to sue the third-party for “interference with economic advantage.” This basically means that the third-party did something to mess up your contract, which caused you to lose money or suffer some other type of economic damage.
This claim can be hard to prove. A court will look at the specific facts of your case and determine if it meets the elements to show a cause of action for interference with economic advantage. If you end up winning your case, there are a few remedies that may be available.
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How can I Prove Interference with Economic Advantage?
While this type of tort may slightly differ between the states, you generally have to allege and ultimately prove the following elements for interference with economic advantage:
- There was a valid existing contract or economic opportunity. Keep in mind, there may be an obstacle proving you had a valid economic opportunity if there was no written contract or hard evidence of the agreement.
- The third-party had knowledge of the economic opportunity.
- The third-party intentionally interfered with your contract. Whether the interference is intentional will depend on the circumstances of your case and interpretation of the facts. Some states may require that the third-party maliciously interfered with your contract or even used illegal means to interfere with it.
- The contract is breached.
- The interference by the third party caused you harm. Linking the third-party's action to your resulting harm is usually the hardest thing to prove. If this is not proved, you will not have a case, even if the other elements are met. Generally, the following will be discussed and analyzed when determining causation:
- Did the third-party actively take steps to induce the breach?
- If so, would the contract still have been performed if the third-party did not interfere?
What are my Remedies?
If you win a case of interference with economic advantage, the following tort remedies may be available:
Should I Contact an Attorney?
Since these cases can be very difficult to prove and the law varies from state to state, it would be beneficial to contact an attorney. A local business attorney can evaluate your case and determine whether you may have a case for interference with economic advantage or any other cause of action. If the attorney thinks you have a shot, they can help represent you in court.