Commercial Torts

There are many different types of torts, commercial torts involve improper conduct involving commercial entities such as business. Commonly, commercial torts involve breach of fiduciary duty, unfair competition or fraud.

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In breach of fiduciary duty cases a fiduciary (one charged with acting in another party?s best interest) takes action that is not in the other party?s best interest. One example would be a corporation?s officers engaging in insider trading.

Unfair competition centers on the many types of dishonest or fraudulent rivalry in business. This can include tortious interference when a third party intentionally prevents a company from establishing a business relationship, encourages them breach a contract or prevents from fulfilling its contractual obligations to another company. Another type of unfair competition is intellectual property infringement which includes things such as trademarks, copyrights and patents.

The essential characteristic of fraud is the intent to deceive. In business this may include a misrepresentation of material fact which was relied upon but later caused harm. For example, if a seller of a business told the buyer inaccurate information about the operating expenses of the business, knowing that information was false, but the buyer relied on the information as good and purchased the business only to suffer losses later, that would be an example of fraud. The buyer would have to prove that the information provided by the seller was false, that they seller knew it was false, and that the buyer relied on the information to make his decision.

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