Tortious interference with Business Relations

  1. Introduction

    The victim of the nonconsensual online publication of intimate photographs or videos may bring a claim under the common law tort of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage in situations where the material’s publication has interfered with the victim’s employment or ability to earn a living.

  2. Elements

    1) Existence of a business relationship (not necessarily evidenced by an enforceable contract);

    2) Knowledge of the relationship on the part of the defendant;

    3) An intentional and unjustified interference with that relationship by the defendant; and

    4) Damage to the plaintiff as a result of the breach of the relationship.1

  3. Cases

    1. Animal Rights Found. of Florida, Inc. v. Siegel, 867 So. 2d 451 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2004)

      • Procedural Posture: Appeal from lower court decision issuing temporary injunction against animal rights activist group against a developer of a timeshare development who wanted to use animal shows to attract potential buyers.

      • Law: Tortious interference with business relations; Invasion of privacy; Slander; and libel

      • Facts: Plaintiff owned a condo development and wanted assistance in obtaining temporary injunction against defendants, an animal rights group. The lower court granted the injunction.

      • Outcome: On appeal, the court reversed, holding that the scope of the injunction was far too broad, and that tortious interference did not warrant an injunction because the prohibited speech at issue was pure commercial speech.2

  4. Practice Pointers

    Nothing relevant at this time.

  1. Kenniasty v. Bionetics Corp., 82 So. 3d 1071, 1074 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2011). 

  2. Animal Rights Found. of Florida, Inc. v. Siegel, 867 So. 2d 451 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2004).