Brief Fact Summary. The Plaintiff, Richard Harmon (Plaintiff), sued the Defendants, Harold C. Harmon and Virginia S. Harmon (Defendants), Plaintiff’s brother and sister in law, for allegedly inducing the Plaintiff’s mother by fraud and undue influence, to transfer property to the Defendants, effectively disinheriting the Plaintiff.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A party who, due to alleged wrongful interference from another, may seek relief in tort for the loss of the expectation of gain.
The essence of such a claim is that but for the tortious interference of another, the plaintiff would in all likelihood have received a gift or a specific profit from a transaction.View Full Point of Law
Issue. May an expected legatee find relief in tort for wrongful interference with his intended legacy?
Held. Yes. A plaintiff may sue in tort for interference causing the loss of an expected interest. While it is true, that without the alleged undue influence, the Plaintiff’s mother may will her property to whomever she wants, the alleged interference has cost the Plaintiff the expectation of the inheritance completely. The Plaintiff may sue, now, before his mother has died so that the events that led to this suit will still be fresh in the witnesses’ minds and the court could hear from the mother.
Discussion. A person may sue for the loss of expected gain as well as the loss for actual gain caused by wrongful interference by a third party.