This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
If there is no contract in existence between A and B, and X interferes to prevent A from making contracts with B, some courts hold that B may recover from X for the damage thus caused.1 In the common class of cases, B has some business or trade and X's wrongful act is looked upon as interfering therewith. Thus if X, an employer, threatens to discharge an employe, A, if A trades with B, it has been held that B can maintain an action against X.2 If X, who is the cashier of the B bank. misrepresents to B the amount which A will wish to borrow in order to redeem from a mortgage in which X has an interest, in order to prevent A from redeeming from such mortgage, X is liable to A for the damage caused by such statement.3
9 Wissmath Packing Co. v. Mississippi River Power Co., 179 Ia. 1309, L. R. A. 1917F, 790, 162 N. W. 846; Thompson v. Seaboard Air Line Railway, 166 N. Car. 377, 52 L. R. A. (N.S.) 97, 81 S. E. 315.
l0Byrd v. English, 117 Ga. 191, 43 S. E. 419.
11 Brink v. R. R., 160 Mo. 87, 33 L. R. A. 811. 60 S. W. 1058.
12 Walden v. Conn, 84 Ky. 312, 4 Am. St. Rep. 204, 1 S. W. 537.
13 Thompson v. Seaboard Air Line Railway, 165 N. Car. 377, 52 L. R. A. (N.S.) 97, 81 S. E. 315.
14 Wissmath Packing Co. v. Mississippi River Power Co., 179 Ia. 1309, L. R. A. 1917F, 790, 162 N. W. 846. (This was decided under a statute which made X liable to persons whose lands were overflowed or damaged.)
1 Graham v. St. Charles Street R. Co., 47 La. Ann. 214, 49 Am. St. Rep. 366, 27 L. R. A. 416, 16 So. 806; Moody v. Perley, 78 N. H. 17, 95 Atl. 1047.
In other cases this right of action has been denied if the means used to prevent the formation of the contract was not itself a tort.4 . Thus where a teacher persuaded pupils not to patronize a certain store, it was held that the owner of the store could not maintain an action against the teacher, even if such conduct was malicious.5 A keeper of a restaurant, who is not a student in a college, and who has no children who are students therein, can not maintain an action against such college for an injunction and for damages, although the college has made a rule forbidding the students of such college to patronize such restaurant.6 If an employer threatens to discharge employes if they deal at a certain store, it has been held, contrary to the authority already discussed,7 that the owner of the store has no right of action against the employer.8 If X, who has leased realty to B, notifies B that on the expiration of such lease B will not be permitted to occupy X's premises unless B ceases purchasing electric power from A, with whom B has no definite contract, X incurs no liability to A by such demand, although as a result thereof B ceases to take electric power from A.9 It has been held that if X refuses to employ any one who rents of A, and by reason thereof A is unable to rent his house, A has no right of action against X.10 No injunction can be given against the action of competitors in cutting rates in order to break up a rival's business.11
For the validity of criminal statutes on this subject, see Aikens v. Wisconsin, 105 U. S. 194, 40 L. ed. 154.
2 Graham v. R. R., 47 La. Ann. 214, 49 Am. St. Rep. 366, 27 L. R. A. 416, 16 So. 806; Moody v. Perley, t8 N. H. 17, 95 Atl. 1047.
3 Moody v. Perley, 78 N. H. 17. 05 Atl. 1047.
4 United States. Passaic Print Works v. Dry Goods Co., 105 Fed. 163, 44 C. C. A. 426, 62 L. R. A. 673.
Indiana. Guethler v. Altman, 26 Ind. App. 587. 84 Am. St. Rep. 313, 60 N. E. 355.
Kentucky. Gott v. Berea College, 156 Ky. 376, 51 L. R. A. (N.S.) 17, 161 S. W. 204.
Maine. Heywood v. Tillson, 75 Me. 225, 46 Am. Rep. 373.
Tennessee. Payne v. Ry., 81 Tenn. (13 Lea) 507, 49 Am. Rep. 666.
Wisconsin. People's Land & Manufacturing Co. v. Beyer, 161 Wis. 349, L. R. A. 1916B, 813, 154 N. W. 382.
5 Guethler v. Altman, 26 Ind. App. 587, 84 Am. St. Rep. 313, 60 N. E. 355; People's Land & Manufacturing Co. v. Beyer, 161 Wis. 349, L. R. A. 1916B, 813, 154 N. W. 382.
6 Gott v. Berea College, 156 Ky. 376, 51 L. R. A. (N.S.) 17, 161 S. W. 204.
7See ante, this section. 8 Payne v. Ry., 81 Tenn. (13 Lea) 507, 49 Am. St. Rep. 666.