FLORIDA LAW UPDATE – TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE LAW CODIFIED

The Florida House of Representatives has a bill pending that may codify the common law tort of tortious interference. The body of the bill is as follows:

 1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to unlawful activities under the
    3         Uniform Commercial Code-Sales; creating s. 672.617,
    4         F.S.; defining the terms “business relationship” and
    5         “person”; specifying that it is unlawful for a person
    6         to cause a breach or violation of, or the refusal or
    7         failure to perform, a lawful contract or intentionally
    8         and unjustly interfere with or disrupt a business
    9         relationship; authorizing an injured person to bring a
   10         civil cause of action; authorizing injunctive relief
   11         and specified damages; prohibiting causes of actions
   12         from being brought for specified contracts; providing
   13         an effective date.
   14          
   15  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   16  
   17         Section 1. Section 672.617, Florida Statutes, is created to
   18  read:
   19         672.617 Unlawful activities; cause of action; damages.—
   20         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   21         (a) “Business relationship” has the same meaning as in s.
   22  825.101.
   23         (b) “Person” has the same meaning as in s. 61.503.
   24         (2) It is unlawful for any person, by inducement,
   25  persuasion, misrepresentation, intimidation, or other means, to:
   26         (a) Cause the breach or violation of, or the refusal or
   27  failure to perform, a lawful contract by any party thereto; or
   28         (b) Intentionally and unjustly interfere with or disrupt a
   29  business relationship.
   30         (3) Any person injured as a result of a violation of this
   31  section may bring a civil cause of action for treble damages,
   32  injunctive relief, or any other appropriate relief in law. The
   33  court may issue a temporary or permanent injunction to prevent a
   34  violation of this section. The issuance of an injunction does
   35  not affect the availability of damages under this section. The
   36  court shall award a prevailing plaintiff reasonable attorney
   37  fees and costs.
   38         (4) A civil cause of action may not be brought under this
   39  section for the enforcement of a contract under s. 542.335.
   40         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.

Notably, the statue provides for treble damages and attorneys’ fees, but only for a prevailing plaintiff.

Eric N. Assouline, Esq.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, PA.

Miami – Ft. Lauderdale – Boca Raton

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com

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