Business torts are civil wrongs that are committed by or against an organization.
Disparagement or Trade Libel or Product Disparagement or Slander of Title
“Business firms rely on their reputation and the quality of their products and services to attract and keep customers. That is why state unfair-competition laws protect businesses from disparaging statements made by competitors or others.”
Intentional Misrepresentation or Fraud or Deceit
“One of the most pervasive business torts is intentional misrepresentation.
Four elements are required to find fraud:
1. The wrongdoer made a false representation of material fact.
2. The wrongdoer had knowledge that the representation was false and intended to deceive the innocent part. (aka ‘scienter’)
3. The innocent party justifiably relied on the misrepresentation.
4. The innocent party was injured.”
UNINTENTIONAL TORT or NEGLIGENCE
Liability for harm as a result of foreseeable consequence.
Includes professional malpractice.
Liability without fault “is imposed for abnormally dangerous activities” such as storage of explosives and keeping of pets.
Product Strict Liability given in Restatement (Second & Third) of Torts: One who sells any product in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer or to his property is subject to liability… A product is defective when, at the time of sale or distribution, it contains manufacturing defect, is defective in design, or is defective because of inadequate instructions or warnings…
Crimes prone to be committed by businesspersons are referred to as white-collar crimes.
Fradulent making or alteration of a written document that affects the legal liability of another person.
Examples: counterfeiting, falsifying public records, materially altering legal documents.
Fradulent conversion of property by a person to whom that property was entrusted.
(Note: differs from robbery, burglary, and larceny where property was not entrusted.)
BRIBERY or PAYOFF or KICKBACK
Bribery is one of the most prevalent forms of white-collar crime.
Giving of money, property, favors, or anything else of value for a favor in return.
EXTORTION or BLACKMAIL
Threat to expose something about another person unless that other person gives money or property.
DECEIT or FALSE PRETENSE or CRIMINAL FRAUD
Obtaining title to property through deception or trickery.
reference Business Law by Henry Cheeseman