Mansol Associates, L.L.C. v. Mansol Industries, Inc.

97-2016 (U.S. Dist. Ct. D. N.J. 1997) (Unpublished)
  • Opinion Date: November 5, 1997

TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE; DIRECTORS—When a corporation’s director acts on a corporation’s behalf, that director is not personally liable for the corporation’s tortious interference with another’s economic advantage.

A New Jersey limited liability company (LLC) sued the director of a corporation, in his individual capacity, for tortious interference with economic advantage of an unspecified nature arising from the breach of two separate leases.

The United States District Court stated that a claim for tortious interference with economic advantage must establish: (1) an expectation of economic advantage or benefit; (2) defendant’s knowledge of, and wrongful and intentional interference with, that expectation; (3) a reasonable probability that a plaintiff would have received the anticipated economic advantage absent such interference; and (4) damages resulting from the interference. The District Court analogized the LLC’s claims against the director to employee liability for comparable conduct, citing case law holding that a corporation can act only through its agents and employees, and, since one cannot be liable for tortious interference with a contract to which he is a party, claims against an employee are barred unless the employee’s actions were not taken on behalf of the corporation. The Court concluded that the claim of tortious interference against the director must allege that the director was not acting on the corporation’s behalf. Since the LLC’s complaint failed to make such an allegation, the District Court dismissed the claim against the director of the corporation.