Tortious interference in Illinois is a type of tort that involves an interference with a business contract. A plaintiff files a claim against a defendant who intentionally undermines a contract or business relationship and causes economic damages.
The tort of contractual interference
A breach of contract is one of the most common types of business torts, which is an intentionally wrongful or negligent act that is committed against a company. Tortious interference is a tort that occurs when an individual or company interferes with another’s contract or business relationship for the purpose of causing financial loss.
An interference can occur before, during or after the development of a contract. For example, a competitor could interfere with the sale of a business before the purchase contract is written. In another situation, a business owner may force an employee to break a contract with a competitor. Also, a business owner could intentionally steal the lawyer who has been working for another business.
An interference is similar to but not the same as a breach of contract. A breach of contract occurs between two conjoined parties, such as an employer and employee. A tortious interference usually occurs when one party interferes with the separate activities of another party.
Protecting your contracts and relationships
A tortious interference claim is filed by a person who has had a contractual or business relationship that was ruined by another party. The tort must be done intentionally, it must involve a valid contract, and it must have caused an actual interference, not just an attempt. The court decides if the act qualifies as a tort by determining that the other party’s motive was intentional and improper.