Two-party or Direct Economic Tort Liability

Hazel Carty

in An Analysis of the Economic Torts

Second edition

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199546749
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191594946 | DOI:
Two-party or Direct Economic Tort Liability

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The orthodox analysis of the economic torts focuses on three-party, indirect liability. Both the tort of inducing breach of contract and the unlawful means tort envisage the use of a third party or intermediary in order to intentionally harm the claimant. However, after the House of Lords' decision in Total Network a key issue for debate is whether economic tort liability in the 21st century extends to the direct intentional infliction of economic harm, without the use of an intermediary. This chapter analyses whether such economic two-party liability exists beyond the tort of intimidation (where it appears to be accepted) and the controversies that would follow from such two-party liability namely: what constitutes ‘unlawful means’ in such a two-party setting; what impact two-party economic tort liability would have on the tort/contract divide; and what the rationale for two-party liability would be compared to the rationale for three-party economic tort liability.

Keywords: three-party liability; two-party liability; intimidation; unlawful means; economic tort liability

Chapter.  3995 words. 

Subjects: Intellectual Property Law

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