Posted by: Apr 05, 2020

Tortious Interference In Texas

If someone breaks a contract with you, you know there may be remedies for you to enforce it or recover damages.

But what if a third party does something to sabotage your contract? In that case, you may be able to sue that person for tortious interference.

What Is Tortious Interference in Texas?

Tortious interference occurs when you are injured by someone unlawfully getting in the way of your business dealings with another party.

Tortious interference may be based on either a completed contract or a prospective contract or business relationship.

To prove tortious interference with a contract that already exists, you must prove that:

  • You have a contract that is “subject to interference,”
  • A third party “willfully and intentionally” interfered with your contract, and
  • The interference caused you actual damage.

To prove tortious interference with a prospective business relationship or contract, you must prove that:

  • It is reasonably probable that you would have reached an agreement or began a business relationship;
  • A third party “willfully and intentionally” interfered with the prospective agreement or relationship;
  • The act of interference was “independently tortious”; and
  • The interference caused you actual damage.

An act is “independently tortious” when it is the type of action that someone could be sued for in tort, such as fraud, misrepresentation, trespass, and breach of fiduciary duty.

Common Types of Tortious Interference in Texas

There is a fine line between tortious interference and competitive business practices. Some of the following things may be considered tortious interference in Texas: 

  • Blackmailing or threatening someone to make them break their contract;
  • Violating non-compete agreements;
  • Purposely interfering with someone’s ability to perform their contractual obligations;
  • Telling lies about a business to drive away customers;
  • Refusing to deliver goods so that one party cannot follow through with their contract; and
  • Inducing someone to breach their contract by offering to sell goods below market price.

If any of these things have happened to you, it is a good idea to speak to a business attorney about your options for recovery.

What Damages Can I Recover for Tortious Interference?

If you have been the victim of tortious interference in Texas, you may be able to recover for several types of losses. Proving some types of damages can be challenging and may require expert testimony.

An experienced attorney can help you maximize your damages award.

Economic Losses

Economic losses are actual financial losses that you can account for.

For example, let’s say you sold something for a certain price under the contract and then had to sell the product to someone else for a lower price because tortious interference made the contract fall through. The money you lost on the sale would be an economic loss.

Lost Profits

In tortious interference cases, you can recover lost profits you anticipated earning as a result of the contract or business relationship.

Mental Anguish

If you experienced stress or emotional pain because of the tortious interference, you may receive compensation.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are extra damages awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially bad. Punitive damages may be several times the amount of other damages. Their purpose is to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from doing the same thing.

Statute of Limitations

Almost all claims are subject to statutes of limitations. These are rules limiting the time you have to file a lawsuit.

In Texas, the statute of limitations on tortious interference is two years. Your two years start running from the day that the alleged interference happened.

It can take some preparation to file your case, so it’s a good idea to get started as soon as possible. You don’t want to lose the opportunity to pursue your claim because you waited too long.

Contact an Attorney

If you believe you have a tortious interference claim, contact The Curly Law Firm. Adam Curley works hard to protect entrepreneurs and small businesses. If someone has sabotaged your business relations, he can help you recover so your business can keep going strong.

Call 832-225-3448 or send an online message to schedule a consultation today.