I’m Reed Bloodworth, the managing partner of Bloodworth Law with offices in Orlando, Florida and Winter Haven, Florida.
Working for our business clients, we handle cases for both plaintiffs and defendants. So, today I wanted to talk, generally, about defending Florida business tort claims.
What Are Business Torts?
Business torts are wrongful acts committed by an individual or a business that cause financial loss, loss of business, loss of clients or loss of advantageous business relationships.
Examples of Business Torts
Business tort law provides businesses and individuals with a civil legal remedy for a range of wrongful actions. Examples of common business torts include:
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation
- Tortious interference with a business relationship; or,
- Tortious interference with a contractual relationship
- Misappropriation of trade secrets
- Conversion, and
These are all examples of business torts and the types of causes of actions former employees, or perhaps, LLC members, corporation stockholders, or partners may bring against each other in business litigation.
When you’re defending that, it’s the attorney’s job to dig into all the facts in order to disprove at least one element of every different business tort alleged.
Plaintiffs Have to Prove This
For example, in a breach of fiduciary duty action, the plaintiff would have to plead and prove that the parties shared a special relationship…where the plaintiff placed a great deal of trust and confidence in the hands of the defendant, and that the defendant accepted that role.
Defending a Breach Entails
And then, that the defendant breached that duty of care to the plaintiff. And as a result of that, the plaintiff suffered some type of financial damage.
Defending that breach would entail:
- The discovery process of getting all the documents involved.
- Getting written answers to questions; and then,
- Taking depositions in order to find evidence that what they’re alleging isn’t true.
If we could prove, under that example, that the individuals didn’t share a special relationship that would qualify as fiduciary in nature, or, that even if there was such a relationship, the plaintiff didn’t suffer any damages, then we would have successfully defended that claim. That is how attorneys go about defending these types of business torts.
There’s also the legal argument side of it. A good example of that is tortious interference with a business relationship or contractual relationship. There is case law that says if someone is competing in good faith, and they’re not out to actually harm the plaintiff in this situation, then the defendant may be found not guilty of these types of tortious interference with a business relationship or contractual relationship.
That’s the essence of how you defend business torts. It’s digging into the facts of the case and finding those elements that will support your defense and disprove the plaintiff’s necessary elements to every cause of action they allege.
Again, I’m attorney Reed Bloodworth, the managing partner of Bloodworth Law. If you have to defend against a business tort claim, give me a call to find out how Bloodworth Law can help you or your business.