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Lumley v. Gye

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 118 Eng. Rep. 749 (K.B. 1853).

Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff had a contract with Wagner for her to perform for Plaintiff. Defendant knew of this contract and maliciously retained Wagner to perform for Defendant instead. Plaintiff sued Defendant for inducement of breech of contract.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. If a party maliciously interferes in a contract performance, he is liable in damages for that interference.


Facts. Lumley (Plaintiff) entered into a contract with Miss Wagner for her to sing for three months at Plaintiff’s theatre. Under the contract Wagner was not permitted to sing or use her talents elsewhere. Gye (Defendant) then entered into a deal with Wagner for her to sing at his theatre for more money. Plaintiff sued and asked that Defendant pay for damages for maliciously interfering with his contract with Wagner. Defendant’s demur was granted. Plaintiff appealed.

Issue. If a party maliciously interferes in a contract performance, is he liable in damages for that interference?

Content Type: Brief


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