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Definition of Tortious Interference
Depends on state law, the Restatement(2d) of Torts says:
One who intentionally and improperly interferes with another's prospective contractual relation (except a contract to marry) is subject to liability to the other for the pecuniary harm resulting from loss of the benefits of the relation, whether the interference consists of
(a) inducing or otherwise causing a third person not to enter into or continue the prospective relation(b) preventing the other from acquiring or continuing the prospective relation.
Earliest citation is to 1621, when someone threatened "to mayhem and vex with suits" customers patronizing a particular merchant. So vexatious plaintiffs have been with us for at least a few centuries.
Attorney. Former franchisee. Co-author of Beguiling Heresy: Regulating the Franchise Relationship (Penn State Law Review, 2004). Paul primarily represents small business clients and franchisee litigation in the state of New York. Contact the Law Office of Paul Steinberg, NY, NY at 212-529-5400.
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