Legal Memorandum: Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage

Issue: What are the elements of a cause of action for interference with prospective economic advantage under Montana law?

Area of Law: Business Organizations & Contracts
Keywords: Intentional interference; Prospective economic advantage; Elements of a cause of action
Jurisdiction: Montana
Cited Cases: 994 P.2d 1124; 170 Mont. 51; 550 P.2d 151
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 04/01/2001

           The tort of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage is based on acts that: (1) are intentional and willful; (2) are calculated to cause damage to a business or economic relationship; (3) are done with the unlawful purpose of causing damage or loss, without right or justifiable cause; and (4) result in actual loss or damages.  See Maloney v. Home & Inv. Ctr., Inc., 298 Mont. 213, 224, 994 P.2d 1124, 1132 (2000).

In Taylor v. Anaconda Fed. Credit Union, 170 Mont. 51, 550 P.2d 151 (1976), holds that the tort of interference with contract rights requires proof that the defendant has intentionally done a wrongful act without justification or excuse.  See Taylor, 170 Mont. at 56, 550 P.2d at 154.  If the element of willfulness is established, summary judgment cannot be granted on that basis.  See Maloney, 298 Mont. at 225, 994 P.2d at 1133.


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