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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
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Posted: February 7, 2018

Court Upholds Tortious Interference with Prospective Business Relations Claim

On January 25, 2018, Justice Scarpulla of the New York County Commercial Division issued a decision in Larren v. Santo Domingo, 2018 NY Slip Op. 30162(U), upholding a claim for tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, explaining:

Santo Domingo moves to dismiss the fourth cause of action of tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, arguing that the allegations are vague and fail state a claim for tortious interference. Review of the complaint shows that plaintiffs allege: (1) that Santo Domingo was aware of actual prospective business relationships with third parties; and (2) that Santo Domingo unlawfully and maliciously interfered with Larren’s, BidKind’s, and Aronis’s business relationships to harm each. Specifically, the complaint alleges a prospective business relationship BidKind had with Chemli, who allegedly committed to invest $5,000,000.00 but later withdrew after Santo Domingo allegedly defamed Larren. Plaintiffs also allege that Santo Domingo interfered with BidKind’s prospective business relationship with iHeartMedia, Inc., and with Aronis Life’s prospective business relationship with Dailymail. Accordingly, the complaint sufficiently plead a cause of action for tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, and I deny dismissal of that cause of action.

(Internal citations omitted).

In New York, there are circumstances where a someone can be held liable for causing someone else to break their contract with you (tortious interference with contract), and they can even be held liable for causing someone not to enter into a contract with you in the first place (tortious interference with prospective economic advantage). Contact Schlam Stone & Dolan partner John Lundin at jlundin@schlamstone.com if you or a client think someone has interfered with your rights relating to a contract.

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