Our Business Torts Practice
As veterans of some of the country’s largest law firms, our attorneys are experienced business litigators. We believe that this experience, along with our efficiency, hard work and responsiveness, place Vangelisti Law Firm LLC among the most effective litigation firms in the Northwest. We encourage prospective clients to ask us about our contingency fee services and hybrid hourly and contingency fee arrangements.
Business Torts Overview
When a competitor breaks the law to obtain an unfair advantage, the harm to you or your business can be severe. Business tort laws provide remedies to individuals and businesses whose business relationships or other economic interests have been harmed by the wrongful conduct of another. Business tort claims may include:
Interference with contractual relations. To establish a claim for interference with contractual relations, the plaintiff must generally prove that (1) the client had a valid contract with a third party; (2) the defendant knew of this contract; (3) the defendant acted intentionally to induce a breach or disruption of the contract; (4) the contract was actually breached or disrupted; and (5) the client suffered harm as a result. These claims include, for example, a competitor persuading a supplier to discontinue selling goods or services to a company.
Breach of contract. Businesses that have suffered damages as a result of another’s breach of a contract or agreement may have a number of remedies available under the common law, Uniform Commercial Code and other statutes. In certain cases, tort remedies may be available as well.
Interference with prospective business advantage. This tort protects economic interests that have not yet been formalized in a contract. The elements of the tort are generally (1) an economic relationship, between the plaintiff and some third person, that has the probability of future economic benefit to the plaintiff; (2) the defendant’s knowledge of the relationship; (3) the defendant’s wrongful acts intended to disrupt the relationship; (4) actual disruption of the relationship; and (5) damages to the plaintiff proximately caused by the defendant’s acts.
Fraud. To establish a fraud claim, the plaintiff must generally prove that the defendant intentionally misrepresented a material fact, and that the plaintiff relied on and was harmed by the misrepresentation. These claims include a seller’s failure to disclose structural problems, mold, construction defects, water intrusion, infestations, or contamination in the sale of a home or condominium, commercial real estate or land. Fraud claims may also include misrepresentations of the assets, liabilities or profitability in the sale of a business.
Defamation. To state a claim for defamation, the wronged party generally must establish that the defendant published to a third person a statement that would tend to diminish the esteem, respect, goodwill or confidence in which the party is held.
A strict 20-day deadline may apply in certain defamation cases. See ORS 31.215(1), which states: "The demand for correction or retraction shall be in writing, signed by the defamed person or the attorney of the person and be delivered to the publisher of the defamatory statement, either personally, by registered mail or by certified mail with return receipt at the publisher’s place of business or residence within 20 days after the defamed person receives actual knowledge of the defamatory statement."
Right of Publicity. The right of publicity involves a person's right to receive compensation for the commercial use of the person's name or likeness.
Professional misconduct. Attorneys, architects, engineers, physicians and other professionals are required to comply with Oregon’s laws and standards of professional conduct. Vangelisti Law Firm LLC is available to discuss options and pursue remedies for situations involving potential misconduct.
Breach of fiduciary duty. Fiduciaries must fulfill special duties of care and loyalty. Generally, a person acting in a fiduciary capacity is required to make truthful and complete disclosures to those placing trust in him or her, and he or she is forbidden to obtain an unreasonable advantage at the latter’s expense. Fiduciary relationships exist between certain business partners, corporate board members and shareholders, attorneys and their clients, trustees and trust beneficiaries, and in other situations. Vangelisti Law Firm LLC can help you determine whether a fiduciary duty has been breached, and pursue appropriate remedies.
Conversion or trespass. Generally, conversion is an intentional exercise of dominion or control over property that so seriously interferes with the owner’s right to control it that the tortfeasor must pay its full value. The law of trespass protects property owners against less severe interference with their property rights.
Release of confidential information. Duties to maintain the confidentiality of information arise in a number of contexts, including trade secrets, customer lists, and confidential client and patient information. Vangelisti Law Firm LLC can help you minimize harm and evaluate remedies for a release of confidential information.
Theft of trade secrets. Our attorney is experienced in handling these highly sensitive cases. This experience includes trial experience. We encourage you to contact us to learn more.
Embezzlement. Embezzlers may face stiff criminal and civil penalties under Oregon and Washington law. Contact a Vangelisti Law Firm LLC attorney to discuss remedies available if you or your business has been harmed by embezzlement.
Unfair trade practices statutes. Statutes in Oregon (see, e.g., ORS 646.605 to 656) and Washington (see, e.g., RCW 48.30) prohibit a wide range of unfair business tactics, and provide substantial remedies, including recovery of attorneys fees, in many cases. Statutes of limitations in these cases can be very short, requiring quick discovery and assertion of the claims.
Vangelisti Law Firm LLC offers clients a range of legal tools to recover for harm caused by business torts. These tools may include:
If you or your business has been harmed by the wrongdoing of a competitor or other person, we encourage you to contact one of our attorneys to evaluate available remedies.
OUR SERVICE AREA:
Our attorneys are licensed in Oregon and Washington, and serve people who have been hurt throughout the Pacific Northwest. The cities we serve include:
Albany, Ashland, Astoria, Beaverton, Bend, Corvallis, Eugene, Grants Pass, Gresham, Hermiston, Hillsboro, Hood River, Klamath Falls, La Grande, Lincoln City, McMinnville, Medford, Newport, Pendleton, Portland, Roseburg, Salem, The Dalles, and Tillamook.
Aberdeen, Bellingham, Everett,
Kennewick, Longview, Olympia,
Port Angeles, Seattle, Spokane,
Tacoma, Vancouver, Walla Walla, and Yakima.
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