Interference with Contractual and Business Relations
By Daniel F. Blanchard, III
[published in Volume 2 of the South Carolina Bar’s 2004 publication entitled “South Carolina Damages”]
South Carolina is among the majority of jurisdictions that have recognized tort liability for intentional interference with a person’s economic relationship with a third party. Tort liability is imposed for intentional interference with the performance of an existing contract or the formation of a prospective one.
B. Intentional Interference with Existing Contract
1. Theory of Tort
A cause of action for intentional interference with contract is a tort cause of action separate from a cause of action arising from the contract itself. The cause of action for intentional interference with a contractual relationship is premised on the tortious behavior of someone not a party to the contract. Consequently, a party to a contract cannot be liable for tortious interference with that contract.