Business Torts

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Business torts in Virginia encompass a wide variety of wrongdoing such as fraud and embezzlement, breach of fiduciary duty, and interference with business relationships.  Business torts are different from contract disputes in that they are claims separate and apart from any terms in a written agreement. In the world of commerce, understanding business torts is essential for safeguarding your business interests. Below we will discuss what business torts entail and their implications in Virginia.

What Are Business Torts?

Business torts refer to wrongful acts committed against businesses or business relationships, typically resulting in financial harm. These torts encompass a broad spectrum of misconduct, including but not limited to:

  1. Fraud: Intentional misrepresentation or deceit leading to economic loss.
  2. Interference with Contractual Relations or Business Expectancies: Actions that disrupt existing contracts or business relationships or expected business relationships.
  3. Trade Libel: False statements made to damage a business’s reputation or products.
  4. Unfair Competition: Conduct that violates fair trade practices, such as false advertising or trade secret theft.
  5. Tortious Interference with Prospective Business Relations: Interference with potential business opportunities.
  6. Defamation: Making false, harmful statements about another business or individual.
  7. Civil RICO: Organized racketeering activity that could encompass wrongful acts such as money laundering, gambling, or counterfeiting goods.

Business Torts in Virginia

Virginia’s legal landscape regarding business torts is shaped by statutes, precedents, and evolving case law. Key principles governing business torts in Virginia include:

  1. The Economic Loss Rule: Virginia generally adheres to the economic loss rule, which limits recovery in tort actions where the harm is purely economic and contractual remedies are available. This Rule draws a distinction between obligations found in a contract and obligations that exist outside and independent of a contract.
  2. Elements of Tortious Interference: Claims of tortious interference in Virginia require demonstrating intentional interference with a valid business relationship, resulting in damages.
  3. Trade Secrets Protection: Virginia has robust laws protecting trade secrets, offering recourse against misappropriation through civil actions.
  4. Fraudulent Misrepresentation: Virginia imposes stringent requirements for proving fraudulent misrepresentation, necessitating clear evidence of intentional deception and resulting harm.


    Business torts pose significant risks to enterprises, but with proactive legal guidance, you can mitigate these risks and protect your business interests. At Moore, Christoff & Siddiqui, we are committed to providing the strategic counsel and advocacy you need to navigate the complexities of business tort litigation in Virginia. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take proactive steps to safeguard your business.