Understanding Business Torts: What Business Owners, Executives, and Professionals Need to Know


As a leading litigation law firm, we understand the complexities of business disputes and how they can be financially damaging for businesses and business owners of all sizes. One such area of litigation is business torts.

In this post, we will explain:

  • what business torts are;
  • what damages they may result in;
  • provide common examples that may occur to businesses and business owners; and
  • provide examples of both New York State and federal business torts.

What are Business Torts?

Business torts are civil wrongs that occur in the context of a business or commercial activity. They involve a wrongful act committed by one party that causes harm to another party's business interests or economic relationships. Business torts can range from unfair competition, fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of contract, tortious interference, brand tarnishment, defamation, unfair competition, and misappropriation of trade secrets to more complex claims involving antitrust violations or racketeering.

What Damages May Result from Business Torts?

The damages that may result from business torts can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Generally, damages are intended to compensate the injured party for the harm they have suffered as a result of the defendant's wrongful conduct. These may include lost profits, lost business opportunities (including prospective opportunities or economic advantage), and other economic damages. Punitive damages may also be awarded in cases involving particularly egregious conduct, such as fraud or intentional misconduct.

Business torts can occur to businesses of all sizes.

Some common examples include:

  • A former employee taking confidential business information to a competitor, leading to the loss of important clients and revenue.
  • A competitor spreading false information about a business, leading to brand tarnishment and loss of customers.
  • A supplier breaching a contract, leading to significant financial losses for the business.
  • A business partner embezzling funds or diverting resources, leading to financial harm to the business.
  • A shareholder making false statements to other shareholders, leading to a decline in stock prices and financial harm to the company.

Examples of New York State Business Torts:

New York State recognizes a variety of business torts, including:

  • fraudulent misrepresentation;
  • interference with contract;
  • false adverting;
  • interference with prospective economic advantage;
  • unfair competition;
  • defamation;
  • conversion;
  • tortious interference with business relationships; and
  • breach of fiduciary duty.

Examples of Federal Business Torts:

There are also several federal laws that can apply to business torts. Some examples include:

  • the Lanham Act, which prohibits false advertising;
  • the RICO Act, which provides for civil and criminal penalties for racketeering activities;
  • the Sherman Antitrust Act, which prohibits anticompetitive conduct;
  • the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which makes it illegal to access a computer system without authorization; and
  • the Federal Trade Commission Act, which gives the FTC the authority to take action against businesses engaged in unfair or deceptive practices.

Why Experienced Business Litigation Attorneys are Essential:

Experienced business litigation attorneys are essential in identifying and clarifying business tort claims for clients. They are knowledgeable in navigating the complexities of business disputes and have the skills necessary to successfully represent clients in court. Our team of skilled attorneys has a proven track record of successfully handling business litigation cases and has helped numerous clients recover damages for business torts.

If you are facing similar concerns or if you have questions about your business dispute, then please feel free to contact us here.

Let us guide you through the complexities of business litigation and help you protect your assets and interests.

To learn more about these topics, you may want to review the information provided on these pages: Business Litigation; Business Torts.

You may learn more about us and how we operate by visiting these pages: About Us, What Sets Us Apart, and Learn More About Us.

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