October 17, 2018 Articles

Interference with Economic Relations: A Comparative Analysis of American and Anglo-Canadian Approaches

The breadth of the American approach has been criticized, but Anglo-Canadian jurisprudence has unnecessarily narrowed the tort.

By Marco Falco

Nothing leads to more confusion in common law than the scope of the tort of intentional interference with economic relations.

In the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, courts have struggled with when and how to hold a defendant liable for deliberately engaging in conduct that causes harm to the plaintiff’s economic interests. At the core of the debate, as with most economic torts, is the courts’ reluctance to use tortious liability as a way to stifle legitimate competition and overall commercial activity.

Despite this common concern, the United States, on the one hand, and Canada and the United Kingdom, on the other hand, have adopted different approaches to when the tort will be applied.

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