Tortious Interference With Business Relations Claim Fails for Lack of Evidence of the Defendant’s Use of Wrongful Means

On July 28, 2021, the Second Department issued a decision in  Stuart’s, LLC v. Edelman, 2021 NY Slip Op. 04569, holding that a claim for tortious interference with business relations failed for lack of evidence of the defendant’s use of wrongful means, explaining:

The Supreme Court’s determination that Hong tortiously interfered with Stuart’s business relations with Aeropostale was not warranted by the facts. The court made no specific findings of fact or credibility determinations concerning this cause of action and Hong individually, and the trial record reflects a lack of incriminating evidence that Hong used wrongful means to interfere with Stuart’s business relationship with Aeropostale. Furthermore, to the extent that the court tacitly concluded that Hong’s conduct harmed Stuart’s business relationship with Aeropostale, any such conduct would presumably have been motivated by Hong’s economic self-interest, and cannot be characterized as solely malicious. Accordingly, the court should have dismissed the twelfth cause of action, which alleged tortious interference with business relations, insofar as asserted by Stuart’s against Hong.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).

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