Business torts are civil wrongs arising in a commercial context, committed by or against a business. They may surface in almost any business industry and often cause damage to a company's intangible assets (i.e., intellectual property, business relationships, and public image). In fact, the term "business tort" encompasses an incredibly wide range of commercial issues, such as:
- Misrepresentation: This occurs when one party intentionally lies about a material fact for the purpose of inducing a second party to act or abstain from acting in a particular manner.
- Unfair trade practice: In Massachusetts, consumers may bring a claim under the Consumer Protection Act (also known as a 93A claim) against a company or business that engages in unfair practices meant to deceive its customers. A successful claim may result in the court assessing punitive damages and attorneys' fees.
- Breach of privacy: In Massachusetts, all businesses that store personal information of its customers must enact and strictly follow a written information security program to avoid liability in the event of a breach or loss of data.
- Defamation: A false statement made (either written or spoken) that damages a business's reputation. For example, a business competitor might spread false rumors in the marketplace.
- Breach of a fiduciary duty: A fiduciary must act in another party's best interests. In a corporation, officers and directors owe a fiduciary duty to the corporation's shareholders. If an officer or director acts in a way that is contrary to the shareholders' interests, then he or she has breached the fiduciary duty and may be liable to the corporation or its shareholders.
- Trademark or copyright infringement: A business may not use another company's trademark, trade name, or any other copyrighted material without the company's consent.
Our business attorneys have decades of experience prosecuting a wide assortment of business tort claims. If your business has been harmed by an intentional act, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact a business attorney in one of our Boston, Cambridge, or Quincy offices today at 617-225-2100 for a FREE evaluation of your case.
Business tort claims are not always obvious. Determining whether you have a legitimate claim requires investigation, understanding of the principal business, and vigilant analysis of the facts.
At Bellotti Law Group, we offer a free consultation where we can answer any questions and determine whether you have a worthy claim. Because the prevailing party may be awarded punitive damages and attorneys' fees, some business torts can increase litigation risks considerably, or provide additional leverage to the party bringing the claim. Contact us today to learn about your options.