law tortious interference
Cause of Action for Tortious Interference in Texas
The elements of tortious interference with contractual relationships are: (1) the existence of a contract
subject to interference; (2) the occurrence of an act of interference that was willful and intentional; (3) the
act was a proximate cause of the claimant's damage; and (4) actual damage or loss occurred. Baty v.
Protech Ins. Agency, 63 S.W.3d 841, 856-57 (Tex. App.- Houston [14th Dist.] 2001, pet. denied).
Tortious Interference with Prospective Business Relationships
The elements of tortious interference with a prospective business relationship are: (1) a reasonable
probability the plaintiff would have entered into a business relationship; (2) an independently tortious or
unlawful act by the defendant that prevented the relationship from occurring; (3) the defendant did such act
with a conscious desire to prevent the relationship from occurring or the defendant knew the interference
was certain or substantially certain to occur as a result of the conduct; and (4) the plaintiff suffered actual
harm or damages as a result of the defendant's interference. Id. at 860. Midtown's motion for summary
judgment alleged Space Place failed to produce evidence of each element.
SYBLE HOOD v. EDWARD D. JONES & CO., L.P. AND ROBBY R. ROGERS; from Andrews County; 8th
district (08-07-00093-CV, 277 SW3d 498, 01-29-09, pet denied)(tortious interference, at will employment,
age discrimination suit)
Tortious interference with a contractual relationship requires a plaintiff to prove: (1) an existing contract
subject to interference; (2) an intentional and willful act of interference; (3) proximate cause; and (4) actual
damages. Holloway v. Skinner, 898 S.W.2d 793, 795-96 (Tex. 1995); Aguilar v. Morales, 162 S.W.3d 825,
837 (Tex.App.-El Paso 2005, pet. denied).
Texas strictly follows the employment-at-will doctrine. Montgomery County Hosp. Dist. v. Brown, 965 S.W.2d
501, 502 (Tex. 1998); East Line & Red River Ry. Co. v. Scott, 72 Tex. 70, 10 S.W. 99, 102 (1888). "For well
over a century, the general rule in this State, as in most American jurisdictions, has been that absent a
specific agreement to the contrary, employment may be terminated by the employer or the employee at will,
for good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all." Montgomery County Hosp. Dist., 965 S.W.2d at 502. Both
Rogers and Steve Rarick, Senior Human Resources Generalist at the home office in Missouri, testified by
affidavit that Hood was an at-will-employee and had no employment contract. Thus, Hood was subject to
discharge for any reason unless prohibited by Texas or federal law.
SP MIDTOWN, LTD. D/B/A SPACE PLACE MIDTOWN v. URBAN STORAGE, L.P. AND MIDTOWN
STORAGE, L.L.C.; from Harris County; 14th district (14‑07‑00717‑CV, ___ SW3d ___, 05-08-08, pet. denied
SP Midtown Ltd. v. Urban Storage, LLC (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] May 8, 2008)(Anderson)
(trade secrets, tortious interference)
We conclude Space Place presented more than a scintilla of evidence on each element to create a genuine
issue of material fact as to whether Midtown tortiously interfered with Space Place's customers' contracts.
We also conclude Space Place presented more than a scintilla of evidence on each element to create a
genuine issue of material fact as to whether Midtown tortiously interfered with Welch's employment contract
with Space Place. Therefore, the trial court erred in granting summary judgment on this cause of action.
RED ROOF INNS, INC. AND ACCOR NORTH AMERICA, INC. v. MURAT HOLDINGS, L.L.C.; from Dallas
County; 5th district (05-05-00240-CV, 223 SW3d 676, 04-16-07, pet. denied Jan 2008) 3 petitions
(franchise agreement dispute, tortious interference Louisiana law, jury charge error)