What Is A Tort? (Hint: Definitely Not As Sweet As A Torte!)

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Boyd Law Business torts are best described as wrongful actions. However, to be more specific, they are actions performed against either a large or small business that causes harm to that company. According to Franklin-based business lawyer Brian T. Boyd, a business tort is dangerous because it can create everything from a damaged reputation to profit losses. These types of actions can also cause an enterprise their rightful piece of the market share.

According to Boyd, business owners in Franklin that have been a victim of a tort can benefit from the help of a business lawyer. An attorney can act as legal counsel to help guide the business toward lawful retaliation. Further, having a business lawyer on retainer may help pad against economic losses directly resulting from the tort.

Legal recourse

Boyd explains that the most logical recourse to a tort is a civil lawsuit. The plaintiff – the harmed party – must then accept the burden of proof. They must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that that harm was caused by the defendant – the offender. The plaintiff must also illustrate that the defendant had a responsibility to behave a certain way toward the business. This responsibility must have been unquestionably neglected.

In addition to negligence, the plaintiff may need to prove that the defendant’s actions were reckless and/or intentional. A business lawyer can help a plaintiff identify contractual responsibilities and, if applicable, any breached state or local laws.

At the conclusion of a civil trial, a judge may award a plaintiff financial damages up to and exceeding the amount of their lost profits. If found guilty, the defendant may also be issued a restraining order, which will prohibit them from continuing to cause harm to the plaintiff. A court of law may further rule that any defamatory or disparaging statements are publicly retracted.

Types of misconduct

There are many situations that may be considered a business tort. Boyd explains these include everything from business disparagement and malpractice to misrepresentation and the mishandling of trade secrets. When a business attorney looks at the case, they will also look for losses incurred by their client based on improper interference by the defendant.

Six types of business torts

Trade libel

Trade libel is a type of deformation where false statements are publicly published. This information might relate to the business itself or its products or services. As a business lawyer, Boyd explains these are usually some of the costliest cases since it involves the perception of Franklin’s residents, not just local corporate leaders.

Theft of trade secrets

Trade secrets are proprietary processes that give a business a competitive advantage. They are not published and, typically, only a select few have access. A tort involving trade secrets happens when an offending party comes into possession of the secrets and uses them against the business that rightfully owns them.

Tortious interference

This essentially refers to causing complications in business relationships. A business lawyer may claim tortious interference on behalf of their clients if the defendant unlawfully meddled with contractual agreements between the plaintiff and other parties.

Fraudulent misrepresentation

A breach of good faith is a fraudulent misrepresentation created to convince parties to join into a contractual agreement.

Commercial disparagement

This is the act of intentionally making a business or its products, services, or property look bad so that it loses business.

Restraint of trade

Restraint of trade is the act of creating unlawful barriers to production. For example, if a group of businesses band together and refuse to sell, distribute, or ship raw materials only to certain businesses. As a local business lawyer, Boyd can help Franklin-based owners and executives determine if their firm has been the victim of restraint of trade or if the actions against them were taken as part of a lawful non-compete.

If you believe that your business has been a victim of a tort, contact the Law Offices of Boyd & Wills for expert legal assistance. Our experts can help identify illegal behaviors and will represent your best interests in a court of law.


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