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White Plains Coat

White Plains Coat - an existing contract for an alleged...

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5. a. Facts i. White Plains alleges that it had five-year exclusive service contracts with customers and that, knowing of these arrangements, Cintas induced dozens of the plaintiff’s customers to breach their contracts and enter into agreements with them. ii. White Plains demanded that Cintas discontinue servicing White Plains’ contract customers, enclosing a list of customers solicited improperly. Cintas denied knowledge of any contracts and continued its solicitation. iii. White Plains sued Cintas for tortious interference with existing contracts. iv. The District Court granted summary judgment and dismissed the complaint, concluding that White Plains had to show that Cintas acted with malice, which White Plains was unable to do. b. Issue i. Does a generalized economic interest in soliciting business for profit constitute a defense to a claim of tortious interference with
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Unformatted text preview: an existing contract for an alleged tortfeasor with no previous economic relationship with the breaching party? c. Holding i. No. d. Reasoning i. A defendant who is simply plaintiff’s competitor and knowingly solicits its contract customers is not economically justified in procuring the breach of contract. ii. The Court does not agree with the notion that “the only answer is to go out and do it also to the other guy.” iii. New York Pattern Jury Instructions say: “When the defendant is simply a competitor of the plaintiff seeking customers and the plaintiff has a customer under contract for a definite period, defendant’s interest would not justify inducing the customer to breach the existing contract.” iv. Protecting the contracts does not negate a competitor’s right to solicit business – just to limit improper inducement of a third party to breach its contract....
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