Business torts and ethics presentation
In this article we discuss the interplay between business torts in the United States and ethics presentation. Tort law is the area of law in the United States that protects people from the wrongful acts of others. When a person commits a tort, they violate another person’s legal rights and as result they violate civil law. If a person is damaged by someone else’s wrongful act, that person can bring a claim for damages against the person who commits the tort, called tortfeasor. The purpose of tort law is to ensure that wrongdoers pay for the damage that they cause to their victims. A tort can be a crime. However, tort law is not criminal law. Tort law gives a victim a civil remedy in the courts. Sometimes, a tort is also a crime. Whether or not the state pursues criminal charges, a person can pursue a civil remedy in the courts.
Business law is the collection of legal requirements around forming, operating, dissolving, and engaging with a business entity and commercial transactions. Business law, which is also referred to as mercantile or commercial law, is the group of rules that governs company dealings and all commercial matters. This branch of law relates to the liabilities, duties, and legal rights of managers, executives, owners or other businesses involved in merchandising, sales, commerce and trade.
There is a point where the tort law and business law meet, and one of them is the topic of this article – business torts and ethics presentation. Business torts are wrongful actions performed against a business that cause harm. Business torts may cause a loss of profits, loss of reputation, loss of business competitive advantage, loss of market share, and other types of losses. Business torts are also known as economic torts because they are often associated with losses of current or projected business profits.
In a negligence case in business, plaintiff still has to show the four elements of negligence:
- The defendant had a duty (statutory or otherwise) to act in a certain manner;
- The defendant breached the duty
- The defendant’s actions are the cause of plaintiff’s loss; and
Further, plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s actions either were intentional or were negligent or reckless. The remedies sought in a torts case include monetary damages, compensatory and punitive, and injunctions issued in order to inhibit a defendant from continuing to harm the plaintiff.
Common types of business torts are tortious interference with contract or business relationship, restraint of trade, misappropriation of trade secrets, fraudulent misrepresentation, trade libel, defamation, commercial disparagement, abuse of process, malicious prosecution, and others. We discuss some of the business torts below:
- Tortious interference with contract or business relationship refers to interfering with the economic expectations of a plaintiff by harming a business relationship.
- Restraint of trade refers to the situations where businesses and individuals do not take actions or enter into agreements that would cause another business to cease being able to operate normally.
- Misappropriation of trade secrets is the unlawful accessing of proprietary business information for the purpose of acquiring an improper competitive advantage over a business.
- Fraudulent misrepresentation is the deliberate or reckless statement of a falsehood designed to induce a party to enter into a contract.
- Trade libel is the publication of intentionally false information about the services or products of a business that causes a damage to the business.
- Commercial disparagement is the intentional defamation of a business’s reputation or property with the goal of causing harm to the business.
Contact us, your international business attorney in Florida, to assist you in your business law torts situation and help you understand what remedies you have in such circumstance.