Personal Economic Injury

Defamation (Slander and Libel)

Defamation is a cause of action in personal injury otherwise known as tort law that protects a person's reputation against false statements made to others (i.e. published) either in writing or orally. Generally, if a statement implies defamatory facts as the basis of an opinion, then the statement may be actionable e.g. relating that someone is incompetent at their job.

Examples of defamatory statements include:

  1. Statements that reflect negatively on a person's integrity, morality, or character.

  2. A communication that exposes a plaintiff to hatred.

  3. A communication that impairs the plaintiff’s financial well-being.

  4. Statements that suggest that a person was involved in a serious crime.

  5. Statements that suggest that a person has a mental or physical defect that would discourage others from associating with him or her.

Tortious Interference

Tortious interference is a cause of action wherein one party unlawfully interferes with the contract or business relationship of another party, including a list of the necessary elements and how damages are calculated. The elements include:

  1. A valid contract or economic expectancy between the plaintiff and a third person;

  2. Knowledge of the contract or expectancy by the defendant;

  3. Intent by the defendant to interfere with the contract or expectancy;

  4. Actual interference;

  5. The interference is improper; and

  6. The plaintiff suffers damage.

Theft of Trade Secrets

Theft of trade secrets is a cause of action involving the theft of proprietary information that companies typically seek to protect.

Fraudulent Misrepresentation

Fraudulent misrepresentation is a cause of action in the context of business transactions, in which one party either falsely or recklessly misrepresents its position in a contract, causing injury to another party or parties. The elements include: 

  1. A representation was made (in contract law, a representation is any action or conduct that can be turned into a statement of fact).

  2. The representation was false.

  3. The representation, when made, was either known to be false or made recklessly without knowledge of its truth.

  4. The representation was made with the intention that the other party rely on it.

  5. The other party did, in fact, rely on the representation.

  6. The other party suffered damages as a result of relying on the representation.

Restraint of Trade

The common law doctrine of restraint of trade is a cause of action which refers to any unlawful act that hinders another party from conducting business as it normally would without the hindrance.

Trade Libel

Trade libel is a cause of action, which is a form of defamation unique to business organizations in which a company suffers financial loss from the publication of untrue statements. The elements include:

  1. A defendant made a false statement about the quality of the plaintiff's products or services;

  2. The statement was published; and

  3. The plaintiff suffered monetary loss or harm as a result of the statement.

Commercial Disparagement

The business tort of commercial disparagement is a cause of action which is a form of defamation applicable to business organizations, in which a false and damaging statement about a business is published. The elements include:

  1. The false statement is published;

  2. With the intent, or reasonable belief, that the statement will cause financial loss for the business;

  3. There is in fact a financial loss for the business; and

  4. The defendant makes the statement knowing that it's false or with reckless disregard of whether the statement is true or false.

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