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Business Torts

Business torts are habitually complex and arise not necessarily from business agreements but from all types of exchanges within business relationships. The most common business torts consist of deceptive business practices, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, defamation, trade libel and tortious interference with a contract. At Loftus & Eisenberg, our commercial litigation attorneys offer assistance to clients in Chicago and elsewhere in Cook County who are bringing or fighting these claims to help protect them from palpable financial harm, in addition to impalpable harm to reputation, goodwill and general economic interests.

The most frequently seen business tort is fraud resulting from numerous circumstances, including class actions and disputes within real estate and securities. A component of proving fraud took place is that the defendant intentionally made false statements he or she knew were in fact false to deliberately encourage the plaintiff to act. Furthermore, the plaintiff must have trusted on this false statement’s legitimacy, taken action and as a result suffered damages.

Tortious or intentional interference with a business agreement or probable economic advantage is another commonly seen business tort. This tort centers on the idea that business relationships and advantages have worth that should be free from baseless interfering by an external party. A valid and enforceable contract between you and another party is required to recoup for tortious interfering with a contract. It is also imperative to prove that the defendant knew of the contractual relationship and the defendant unduly and deliberately provoked a contractual breach. Intentional or tortious interference claims also require showing that the breach of the contract was caused by the defendant and that damages were suffered by the plaintiff.

It is not necessary for a contract to be in place for a tort of tortious interference with potential economic gains to occur however in order to establish this cause of action in Illinois, the plaintiff would need to prove:

  • There was a sound expectation of developing a business association;
  • The defendant was aware of this expectation;
  • And deliberately and unreasonably intervened in a way that prompted or produced a breach in said expectation; and
  • Harm was caused due to the interference

Individuals and businesses have rights when it comes to defamation of character or reputation. Defamation is the act making either written (libel) or spoken (slander) false statements about an individual or entity. One requirement necessary to prove that defamation occurred is demonstrating that the defendant made an untruthful statement that was shared to a third party, the statement was not privileged, negligence was demonstrated and it ultimately led to harm.

Anti-defamation statutes and defamation laws are interpreted differently state by state. Truth is the strongest defense to defamation and the attorneys at Loftus & Eisenberg can help determine your best next steps if you or your business falls victim to defamation.

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