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Lowell v. Mother’s Cake & Cookie Co.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    The trial court dismissed Lowell’s complaint after Lowell brought suit against Mother’s Cake & Cookie Co. for intentional interference with prospective business advantage.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A claim for intentional interference with prospective business advantage cannot be dismissed for failure to state a claim based on the defendant’s justification of privilege, unless the facts in the complaint do not show justification or privilege.

    Facts.

    Lowell performed delivery services for Mother’s Cake & Cookie Co. (Cake) for over five years. When Lowell sought to sell the company, an offer was contingent upon Lowell’s business relationship with Cake. Lowell told the prospective buyer that their business relationship with Cake will terminate after Lowell sold the company. All of Lowell’s potential offers withdrew shortly thereafter. The trial court dismissed Lowell’s complaint after Lowell brought suit against Cake for intentional interference with prospective business advantage.

    Issue.

    Whether a claim for intentional interference with prospective business advantage be dismissed for failure to state a claim based on the defendant’s justification of privilege?

    Held.

    No. The judgment of the trial court is reversed. Lowell claimed that Cake interfered with Lowell’s sale of the company by driving down the market price of the company so that Cake may purchase the company for itself. No justification or privilege existed on the face of the complaint.

    Discussion.

    A claim for intentional interference with prospective business advantage cannot be dismissed for failure to state a claim based on the defendant’s justification of privilege, unless the facts in the complaint do not show justification or privilege.


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