A contract is an agreement between two or more parties for the doing or not doing of some specified thing, and can be verbal or in writing. For a contract to be valid, the parties must be capable of entering into a contract, there must be consideration moving the contract, and the parties must agree to contract on the provided terms.
A breach of contract occurs when one contracting party fails to perform his or her part of the contract. When a party breaches his or her duty on the contract, the non-breaching party may be entitled to compensation for damages sustained as a result of the breach.
In the business world, there are several types of relationships that create a fiduciary duty. A fiduciary duty is a legal or ethical relationship of trust between two or more parties. Generally, a fiduciary is responsible for handling money for another party. Examples of relationships where a fiduciary duty exists are:
- Corporate officer-stockholder
When the person owing the fiduciary duty acts in an unreasonable manner that financially injures the person to whom the duty is owed, the injured party may be entitled to recover damages. Common ways for a breach of fiduciary duty to occur are:
- Misappropriation of funds
- Failure to act in the clients’ best interest
- Giving inappropriate advice
- Misuse of superior knowledge or position
Just like people, businesses are capable of sustaining injuries as a result of the wrongful acts of other businesses. When a business sustains an injury, it is generally financial in nature.
A business tort is conduct that results in a financial harm to another party. Examples of business torts are:
3) Tortious interference with contract
4) Breach of fiduciary duty
5) Unfair trade practices
If you have suffered damages as a result of a business tort, you may be entitled to compensation.
There are certain laws that were put into effect to protect consumers from the wrongful conduct of companies and manufacturers. Consumers may have claims based on the following:
- Credit solicitations
- Collection letters and practices
- Mortgage fraud
- Credit reporting problems
- Violations of the Truth in Lending Act
- Violations of the Credit Repair Organizations Act
- Violations of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act
- Violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
If you have suffered damages because your consumer rights have been violated, you may be entitled to compensation.
The Federal Trade Commission is responsible for regulating trade practices. The Federal Trade Commission has found that trade practices that are unethical or fraudulent constitute a deceptive trade practice, and if a person suffers damages as a result of such deception, he or she may be entitled to legal and equitable relief.
Examples of deceptive trade practices are:
- False advertising
- Distorting credit terms
- Distorting payment terms
- Inaccurate pricing
If you have suffered damages because of deceptive trade practices, you may be able to bring a lawsuit seeking compensation for your damages.
Georgia law requires that directors and officers of a corporation make good faith decisions on behalf of the company and its shareholders. If any directors or officers act in a manner that breaches this duty of good faith, then the shareholders may be able to bring an action against the directors or officers to recover for their losses.
There are state and federal laws in place that forbid unfair competition. If you have an established business relationship, and someone purposely interferes with that relationship, or limits your company’s ability to compete, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. Examples of unfair competition are:
- Tortious interference with business relations
- Tortious interference with a contract
- Violation of a non-compete clause
- Illegal use of trademarks
- Patent infringement