Tortious Interference With Contracts or Prospective Business Relationships

Tortious interference with contract occurs where the defendant ruins or tries to ruin a contractual relationship between the plaintiff and third party.  To prove tortious interference with contract, a plaintiff must show: (1) the existence of a contract; (2) defendant’s knowledge of the contract; (3) defendant’s intentional procurement of a breach of the contract; (4) absence of justification; and (5) damages caused by the breach. Kjesbo v. Ricks, 517 N.W.2d 585, 588 (Minn. 1994).

Another variation is the tortious interference with prospective economic advantage claim.  To succeed, a plaintiff must show that: (1) the defendant intentionally and improperly interfered with the prospective contractual relation; (2) the interference caused pecuniary harm resulting from loss of the benefits of the relation; and (3) the interference either (a) induced or otherwise caused a third person not to enter into or continue the prospective relation; or (b) prevented the continuance of the prospective relation. United Wild Rice, Inc. v. Nelson, 313 N.W.2d 628, 633 (Minn. 1982).

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