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The tort of "inducing breach of contract" vs. the tort of "intentional interference with contractual relations"

Topics: - Tort Claims

What is the difference between the tort of "inducing breach of contract" as to the tort of "intentional interference with contractual relations"?

This question was addressed recently by Nikolay Chsherbinin in an article he wrote entitled, "When employees cross the street".

The article was published in the summer 2011 edition of the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association magazine. Mr. Chsherbinin is a lawyer at Grosman, Grosman & Gale LLP in Toronto. The firm's website states that he is currently working on his first legal book, The Law of Inducement in Canadian Employment Law.

As set out in the article, the scope, elements and rationale of each tort are different:

Tort of inducing breach of contract

The "new" employer must have intended to and actually procured a breach of the employee's contract with the "old" employer. That is, the new employer persuades an employee to breach his employment contract with his old employer.  

Tort of intentional interference with contractual relations

The new employer must have intended to injure the old employer.

Recent case law on point

Mr. Chsherbinin also cited the following cases which deal with these claims and/or the distinction between them:

  • SAR Petroleum et al. v. Peace Hills Trust Company, 2009 Carswell NB 307, upheld 2010 NBCA 22