What is a Tortious Interference Claim in Texas?
– Bradford T. Laney, Texas Litigation Attorney
What is Tortious Interference?
Tortious interference, also known as intentional interference with contractual relations, in the common law of torts, occurs when one person intentionally damages someone else’s contractual or business relationships with a third party causing economic harm.
You May Be Entitled to Damages:
A “tortious interference” is when someone interferes with your existing contract. If that interference caused you to suffer some sort of damage, then you may be entitled to file a lawsuit to recoup your losses. To win your case, you’ll have to prove the following four elements by a preponderance of the evidence or legal burden of proof (51%):
(1) You had a valid contract subject to interference;
(2) Someone willfully and intentionally interfered with your contract;
(3) The interference proximately caused your injury; and
(4) You incurred actual damages or loss due to the tortious interference.
If you can meet all four of these elements, then it’s time to hire an experienced attorney to help you recover your damages. Depending on your particular circumstance, you can try to recover damages for economic loss, lost profits, mental anguish, punitive damages, and possibly other types of direct or indirect losses that resulted from the interference.
You will need to get your lawsuit on file within two years of when the tortious interference occurred. This cause of action is governed by a two years statute of limitations, which means you lose rights after this two year period expires if you sleep on them.
What to Expect in a Tortious Interference Lawsuit:
You can expect to undergo written discovery, which will include both sides sending interrogatories and requests for production. You’ll have to disclose your version of the events and gather all the documents relevant to your claim so they can be provided to the other side. You can also expect to give a deposition if the other side requests it. Your attorney will be present at the deposition to make sure all the questions asked are fair and to protect you in the event of anything unprofessional or inappropriate.
You’ll need to be prepared to back up your tortious interference claim with evidence. Contemporaneous documents supporting your story are usually the best back-up you can find. It will also be very beneficial to your case if you can prove up your damages through documents showing your losses.
Brad is a commercial litigation attorney, who has successfully litigated tortious interference claims in Texas state and federal courts. If you need help figuring out if you have a claim or defending against someone that has sued you, please do not hesitate to give Brad a call or email (713-297-1200, firstname.lastname@example.org).