a. Tortious interference with business relationships (TIBR) i. Case: Lumey v. Gye Opera singer agreed to sing exclusively at one place for 3 months and D convinced her to break contract based on lies and defamation. Wrongful luring away, right to enforce contract outweighs competitiveness, and “at will v. term contract”. Recognize the right to compete: better employment terms, better product/service, and better price. ii. Elements for interference of a existing contract : Four Part 1. Existence of a contract; 2. Intentional act of inference where D knowingly induced breach or makes contract burdensome or impossible to complete; 3. Actual damage or loss; and 4. The act was a proximate cause of damages iii. Elements for interference of a prospective contract: (Unfair competition) 1. Reasonable probability that parties would have entered contract expecting economic advantage; 2. An intentional and independently tortious or unlawful act prevented relationship from occurring (acting with malice ex. fraud and defamation) is unfair competition b/c there is not yet a contract we must prove malice (state of mind); 3. actual harm or damage; and 4. proximate cause of damages iv. Defenses (fair competitive action) pg.47 1. Competition (at will contract) 2. Justification (approval of sale franchise) contract provision protecting D’s legitimate interest 3. Managers privilege (act in best interest of company) v. Cases 1. Pennzoil v. Texaco (Tex. 1987) a. “agreement in principle” is commonly used and understood in business before a formal document. Pennzoil won for TIBR. 2. Archives of America v. Archive Litigation Services (Tex.App. 1999) a. Offering better rates and storage is fair competition. P also gave the required 90 day notice to break contract, so D wins, having no liability b/c it is all at-will and fair. 3. Walner v. Baskin-Robbins (N.D.Tex. 1981) 5
a. P lost, he needs approval to sell his franchise from BR, and BR had a good business reason to veto the sale. Justification defense upheld. 4. Bonenberger v. Continental Ins. Co. (Tex.App. 1996) a. Manager’s privilege defense upheld, no malic in firing nurse. CHAPTER 20: PRODUCTS LIABILITY I. Introduction claims – General catch-all term to describe different legal claims available to a person harmed by a defective product * Uniform commercial code (UCC) rules that govern commercial transactions. Governs breach of warranty claims with interstate commerce and differences in laws from state to state to promote consistency and simplify laws. a. Breach of warranty – sellers promise and P claims that product does not live up to promise. Contract theory showing promise made then broken. b. Strict liability – Product is unreasonably dangerous. Tort theory. c. Negligence (ch 8) II. Breach of Express warranty – Sellers representation (either in words or conduct) as to quality, condition, or performance of goods equals seller’s assurance that goods conform to representation.
- Spring '08