Experienced Chicago Lawyer For Business Tort Litigation
Business torts relate to how a company does business. They may file a lawsuit if someone else is interfering with their ability to do business. At the same time, competitors may file lawsuits against a business if they believe it is breaking laws. Business tort lawsuits are high-stakes affairs where your reputation and potential future profitability may be on the line. These tend to be complex cases requiring an experienced attorney’s help.
A tort will result in a civil outcome. Tort cases are a business’s way of taking private legal action when the law and facts are on its side. They aim to put a stop to wrongful behavior and obtain damages. Businesses may even seek to punish the alleged wrongdoer for their actions (through civil, not criminal, damages). Business torts come under the common law and detailed statutes in Illinois law. There are even federal laws that can apply to business tort cases. You need a lawyer to help you understand the overall body of law that can apply to your case.
When you need a Business tort attorney in the Chicago, look no further than the team at King & Jones. Our firm has decades of experience handling various matters in civil court not only in Chicago but throughout the United States. We have tried cases to juries and courts in Florida, Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin, California, Missouri, North Dakota, to name a few. Our cases often result in reported decisions, and the legal community respects our experience and trial advocacy - in and out of the courtroom.
All types and sizes of companies can face business tort conflicts, and they can be costly. Our business attorneys represent businesses, small and large, from startups to established corporations. We help business leaders in all types of industries, and we can untangle your legal issues while you keep your focus on uninterrupted operations.
When you need business tort litigation you can trust, reach out to King & Jones for a consultation.Free Case Evaluation
Midwest Gas Services v.Indiana Gas Co.
317 F.3D 703 (7TH CIR. 2002)
In an another David v. Goliath case, we obtained a reversal of the district court judge’s dismissal of our client’s antitrust action against a major Indiana utility. Our clients operated a natural gas storage field and a related marketing affiliate.
United States Gypsum Co. v. Indiana Gas Co
350 F.3D 623 (7TH CIR. 2003)
On behalf of a major producer of wallboard and a direct consumer of natural gas from an Indiana utility, we obtained a reversal of the trial court’s order dismissing our antitrust action. The case was later settled.
Business Tort Cases Can Mean A Lot Of Money At Stake
You may be familiar with some of the most prominent business tort cases and the large verdicts that have resulted. While not every case may have that much on the line, your potential litigation is critically important to you, no matter the value. The attorneys at King & Jones will work with you to take a pragmatic, aggressive approach when necessary. We learn about our clients and their businesses to understand your needs and risks.
Examples Of Business Torts That Can End Up In Court
Here are some common examples of business torts that can lead to litigation:
To gain a leg up on a competitor, a business may spread disparaging information about another company or its products. In other cases, a customer may have posted a disparaging online review that can be false and rise to the level of defamation. Businesses can sue for defamation the same as a private individual can.
TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE WITH A BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP OR CONTRACT EXPECTANCY
A business with a contractual agreement with a person or company has a right to enjoy the benefits of that agreement. Others cannot attempt to undercut that relationship. For example, employees cannot try to steal customers from their employer by offering to perform the services for less. A competitor cannot lie about another company to steal a contract.
THEFT OF TRADE SECRETS
The theft or misappropriation of trade secrets can harm a business significantly.FEDERAL LAW allows people to sue for theft of trade secrets, and these cases can be worth millions of dollars or even more.
Deceptive or illegal business practices can be grounds for a lawsuit against a company. Many of the practices in this immediate list fall under unfair competition. The UNIFORM DECEPTIVE TRADE PRACTICES ACT in Illinois prohibits unfair competition, and the law provides for a direct cause of action.
BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY
Certain people owe a fiduciary duty to the company itself or minority shareholders. They owe both the duty of care and the duty of loyalty. They can be personally liable in a lawsuit if they breach this duty.
Businesses may either commit or are the victim of fraudulent practices. Fraud is both prohibited by common law and federal and state laws. To prove fraud, you must show that someone intended to gain property that was not theirs through deceit.
Someone may still file a lawsuit, even if there was no intent to deceive. Any misstatement of a material fact can be grounds for liability if the person who made it was negligent or reckless. This lawsuit often comes up in contracts or real estate.
The Stakes That You Face In A Business Tort Case
If you are the one who suffered a wrong, you have likely suffered significant financial injury from someone else’s actions. Not only do you need to be compensated for what happened, but you want the behavior to stop. If the behavior continues indefinitely, it can even put your entire business at risk.
If you are the defendant in a business torts lawsuit, your business can be on the line. If the jury issues a verdict against you, it can mean a large payment that insurance may not cover. It is not a stretch to call business torts “bet the company” lawsuits.
The attorneys at King & Jones represent both plaintiffs and defendants in business tort lawsuits. We bring a hard-hitting approach to the table, yet we know when to advise our clients to be pragmatic. We believe that business tort cases can sometimes get resolved without a contentious trial, but we are prepared to go the distance if necessary.
Injunctive Relief In A Business Torts Case
If you need to go to court, you should know what is at stake ahead of time. A business may seek two primary types of remedy in a business tort claim. Most times, the plaintiff will seek that the court order the defendant to either take a particular action or stop doing something. This order is called injunctive relief, where the court uses its equitable powers to mandate conduct or stop something from happening.
Injunctive relief is not always the court’s preferred option. A court will only issue an injunction if it believes that the plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits, is suffering irreparable harm, and monetary damages alone will not compensate them. In many cases, the plaintiff will seek immediate injunctive relief because they are suffering present or imminent harm. However, a court may be more likely to order injunctive relief in a business torts case.
Our lawyers at King & Jones examine whether injunctive relief is fair and appropriate in each business torts case we handle.
Examples Of Injunctive Relief In A Business Torts Case
Here are some examples of injunctive relief in a business torts case:
- Ordering a company or individual to publish a retraction of something that they said in public
- Ordering a company to complete a deal, such as a merger transaction
- Preventing a company from hiring a particular employee
- Issuing a restraining order that prevents a business from taking clients when they potentially illegally hired an employee or took trade secrets
The plaintiff may seek a temporary restraining order while the judge considers the entire case. If the judge rules in favor of the plaintiff, they may issue a permanent restraining order.
Monetary Damages In A Business Torts Case
The plaintiff may also seek monetary damages. In many cases, they will seek injunctive relief to stop a behavior from occurring and monetary damages to compensate for the behavior that has already occurred. The court’s default option is to award monetary damages when a defendant breaks the law, and it will only issue injunctive relief in extraordinary circumstances. The plaintiff can recover these monetary damages in a business tort lawsuit:
- Profits that the company lost from the illegal behavior
- Payment for harm to its business reputation
- Opportunity costs from business chances that the company missed
- Compensation for harm done to a business relationship
If you seek, you must prove them with some certainty. You cannot speculate about what the damages may be. Instead, you need evidence to meet your burden of proof. An experienced business torts attorney can help you calculate how much money to seek in a lawsuit.
Punitive Damages In A Business Torts Case
In addition, the plaintiff can also seek punitive damages in the lawsuit. The jury will award punitive damages when the defendant has acted egregiously and wants to send a message about the conduct.
Punitive damages are rare but, when awarded, will significantly increase the size of the recovery. Punitive damages are possible when the defendant has intentionally acted wrongfully, knowing full well that their conduct was illegal. In many of the cases described above, there is a strong possibility that the defendant’s conduct may have been part of a concerted effort, placing them more at risk.
Your Lawyer Will Handle Your Litigation Strategy
In any business tort case, you must act strategically to achieve the best result. Your lawyer needs to be a counselor who sees the legal issues and understands how they will affect your company overall. A prolonged lawsuit can harm your business and keep you from focusing on the revenue side of your company. Taking a business tort case to trial may be necessary when there is an intractable dispute.
An experienced attorney will take a broad-based approach to your case, focusing on the bigger picture and how the outcome of your case will affect your company in the long run. Either side may have its own reasons for needing to fight the case to the end.
Alternatively, an experienced attorney can help your company negotiate a solution to the problem through a settlement agreement. In some cases, you can resolve the problem without litigation. However, you should not settle the case just to settle it if your concerns are not getting addressed. When you have legal rights, and the facts support your case, you can get the remedy you need in court.
At the same time, as a business, you should not necessarily give in to the threat of a lawsuit if the facts and law are on your side. Your lawyer will help you weigh the costs and risks of a trial against the possible benefits. Although a negotiated solution is often the best course of action, there are times when you may need to fight the case to the conclusion. At King & Jones, our lawyers are in the case for the duration, helping you take a long strategic view of what may be necessary.
If you are involved in any case that may become a business tort lawsuit, you should contact an attorney relatively early in the process. The longer you wait to hire an attorney, the more you will complicate your legal picture. On the other hand, a lawyer can help position you for a future lawsuit. Your attorney can help you separate what may be emotion from the picture, allowing you to take a clear-headed view of what you may be facing and the ultimate necessity of going through with the lawsuit.
How A Chicago Business Torts Lawyer Can Help You?
Your business tort attorney may help you by:
- Communicating with the other side and send a demand or cease-and-desist letter if necessary (your lawyer can explain your position)
- Negotiating a potential solution that solves the problem and keeps you out of court
- Helping you formulate an overall strategy for the litigation
- Considering any other ramifications and effects to your business from protracted litigation
- Assisting you in gathering evidence and building the facts that you need to win your case
- Reviewing the law to help you advance the most compelling arguments in favor of your position
Our attorneys will exercise their judgment to make clear winning arguments if your case goes to court. We will work to present your best arguments to the court and/or jury to obtain the best possible result. We do not present every conceivable theory to a court or jury; we focus on what is important to prevail. In the meantime, we may help you work towards a settlement agreement in the middle of the litigation process to end your case with a favorable outcome.
The sooner you get a Chicago business litigation attorney, the sooner you can prepare for possible litigation and build your potential strategy. Contact us at King & Jones today at (312) 900-8183 for more information.