Though a contract cannot impose the burdens of an obligation upon one who was not a party to it, it may impose a duty upon persons extraneous to the obligation not to interfere maliciously with its due performance. In a leading English case, Lumley v. Gye, 5 where a person induced a singer to break her contract with the manager of an opera house, and was sued by the manager for maliciously procuring the breach, it was argued (1) that an action would lie against one who procured the breach of any kind of contract; and (2) that, if that were not so, an action would lie, at any rate, for inducing a servant to quit the service of his master. The relation of master and servant has always been held to involve a right on the part of the master to sue any one who enticed away his servant, and so the court was called upon to answer two questions: Does an action lie for procuring a breach of any contract? If not, then does the exceptional rule applicable to the contract of master and servant apply to the manager of a theater and the actors whom he engages to perform? The majority of the court answered both questions in the affirmative, with the qualification that the inducement must be malicious. Later English cases have affirmed this decision, but upon the broad ground that it is an actionable wrong maliciously to induce another to break a contract.6 If the interference is used for the purpose of injuring the plaintiff or of benefiting the defendant at the expense of the plaintiff, the conduct is malicious. The same doctrine has been held by many courts in this country.7 On the other hand, some courts have held that the doctrine does not apply to other contracts than the contract beof Beatrice v. Thomas, 51 Neb. 740, 71 N. W. 731; post, p. 443. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 177; Cent. Dig. §§ 771-774.
5 2 El. & Bl. 216. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 188; Cent. Dig. §§ 808-810.
6 Bowen v. Hall, 6 Q. B. Div. 339; Temperton v. Russell,  1 Q. B. 376. See "Torts" Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 12; Cent. Dig. § 18.
7 PERKINS v. PENDLETON, 90 Me. 166, 38 Atl. 96, 60 Am. St. Rep. 252, Throckmorton Cas. Contracts, 308; Walker v. Cronin, 107 Mass. 555; Jonos v. Stanly, 76 N. C. 355; Lucke v. Clothing Cutters, 77 Md. 396, 26 Atl. 505, 19 L. R. A. 408, 39 Am. St Rep. 421; Jones v. Blocker, 43 Ga. 331; Chipley v. Atkinson, 23 Fla. 206, 1 South. 934, 11 Am. St. Rep. 367; Haskins v. Roy-ster, 70 N. C. 601, 16 Am. Rep. 780; Angle v. Railroad Co., 151 U. S. 1, 14 Sup. Ct. 240, 38 L. Ed. 55; Van Horn v. Van Horn, 56 N. J. Law, 318, 28 Atl. 669; Morgan v. Andrews, 107 Mich. 33, 64 N. W. 869. And see Ensor v. Bolgiano, 67 Md. 190, 9 Atl. 529; Dudley v. Briggs, 141 Mass. 582, 6 N. B. 717, 55 Am. Rep. 494; Burgess v. Carpenter, 2 S. C. 7, 16 Am. Rep. 64.;; Doremus v. Hennessy, 176 I11. 608, 52 N. E. 924, 43 L. R. A. 797, 802, 63 Am. St Rep. 203. See "Torts," Dec Dig. (Key-No.) § 22; Cent. Dig. § 18.
tween master and servant.8 As to this contract, there is probably no conflict at all.9