Business torts, also sometimes called economic torts, can be defined as wrongful acts committed against business entities that prevents the business from operating as it normally would. Like other forms of tort law, business torts include intentional, reckless, or negligent acts that financially harm a business, rather than a person.
What are Business Torts?
The most common business torts filed are:
- Tortious Interference: When one party intentionally interferes with a contract or agreement between the plaintiff and another party, and financial harm results.
- Restraint of Trade: When one party hinders another’s ability to conduct business as usual. Restraint of trade torts often do not directly cause immediate financial harm, but rather cause harm in a broader sense.
- Theft of Trade Secrets: When one party unlawfully obtains (steals) proprietary information from another party, with the intent of sharing or gaining an unfair competitive edge.
- Trade Libel: Trade libel occurs when a business suffers financial losses due to another party publishing or advertising untrue statements about them.
- Fraudulent Misrepresentation: Any contract or agreement must be made in good faith. A fraudulent misrepresentation occurs when one party misrepresents their positions, material facts, or intentions, and the other party suffers financial harm as a result.
- Computer Torts: Some jurisdictions now recognize specific harm caused by damage to computers, hardware, or software that hinders business from being conducted as usual. In some cases, the actual use of the computer could also be considered a tort if it interferes with business, precludes the business from securing profits, or violates contracts.
Depending on the jurisdiction and exact details of your case, there may be other circumstances that qualify as a business tort. Discuss any such concerns with your attorney.
What are the Remedies for Business Torts?
Calculating economic losses related to business torts can be challenging. Often times, business economics are based on projections and not actual figures. Therefore, the remedies for business torts must be “calculable with reasonable certainty”. That means that estimations can be made and used, but they must be reasonable and calculable, and made in good faith.
Another possible remedy is for the court to issue an injunction to stop the other party from committing the tortious acts against you. Examples may include requiring the other party to remove disparaging statements or false advertisements about your business, product, or service. An injunction may also require the other party to cease interference with your business practices.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Business Torts?
Business torts can be complicated, especially establishing the severity of harm caused and identifying reasonable remedies. These are among the chief reasons why it may be beneficial to contact business litigation lawyer prior to entering into a business tort situation, or attempting to resolve one.
The guidance of a skilled lawyer can help ensure that your legal rights are protected, and that your case is proceeding in the best way possible for your business to stay secure and successful. Contact Daic Law to learn more about our business litigation services.