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Environmental Planning and Information Council of Western El Dorado County, Inc. v. Superior Court

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Detmold Publishing Company sued the Environmental Planning and Information Council of Western El Dorado County, Inc. (EPIC) after EPIC published a newsletter criticizing the Foothill Times.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A party cannot be held liable for intentional interference with potential economic advantage of another if they organized a boycott for the secondary consumers directed at political objectives.

    Facts.

    Environmental Planning and Information Council of Western El Dorado County, Inc. (EPIC) published a newsletter criticizing the Foothill Times and urged EPIC readers not to support businesses who sponsored the Foothill Times until they changed their editorial policies. Detmold Publishing Company (Detmold), the publisher of the Foothill Times, sued EPIC for intentional interference with the prospective economic advantage of another. EPIC filed a motion to dismiss and it was denied by the superior court.

    Issue.

    Whether a party can be held liable for intentional interference with potential economic advantage of another if they organized a boycott for the secondary consumers directed at political objectives?

    Held.

    No. The superior court is directed to enter an order granting the motion. There was no economic relationship between Detmold and EPIC in order to support a claim for intentional interference with potential economic advantage of another. Similarly, EPIC’s actions were lawful expressions of speech under the first amendment.

    Discussion.

    A party cannot be held liable for intentional interference with potential economic advantage of another if they organized a boycott for the secondary consumers directed at political objectives.


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