Business torts are not committed against persons or property, but rather the harm is done to a business or organization’s intangible assets, such as its business relationships with clients, loss of business opportunity and intellectual property. It usually results in losses that may occur in the future, rather than losses experienced in the past.
Business torts can result from a wrong doing in a business relationship that is not a breach of contract. For examples, a law suit can be brought if one party has interfered with the ability to enter into a business contract or relationship, resulting in economic damage. Another example is if one party uses or discloses confidential information to damage the other party, resulting in damages that cannot be recovered. Common types of business torts include fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, unfair competition, and misrepresentation.1
The main difference between torts and contracts is that fact that most torts allow for the recovery of additional damages. This can mean the person successful in a tort claim can recover attorney fees or additional punitive damages. However, because most business torts deal with future losses, tort claims involve the complex process of proving future or projected losses. While there is no guarantee that there will be a recovery of additional damages, the possibility of these financial consequences is much greater for tort claims than contract claims.
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