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Cantor Fitzgerald Assoc. v. Tradition N.A.

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First Department
Nov 14, 2002
299 A.D.2d 204 (N.Y. App. Div. 2002)

Summary

affirming dismissal of tortious interference claim where defendant had knowledge of employment contracts, but evidence clearly established that employees were dissatisfied with employment at plaintiff company, were determined to leave that employment, actively sought new employment before any involvement by defendant, and dictated terms they would require in order to work for defendant

Summary of this case from IDG USA, LLC v. Schupp

Opinion

2207

November 14, 2002.

Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Marylin Diamond, J.), entered October 9, 2001, which granted defendant's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the complaint, unanimously affirmed, with costs.

JOHN F. CAMBRIA, for plaintiff-appellant.

CARLYLE M. DUNAWAY, JR., for defendant-respondent.

Before: Williams, P.J., Nardelli, Tom, Lerner, JJ.


The court properly granted summary judgment dismissing plaintiff's tortious interference with contract claim. An essential element of such a claim is that the breach of contract would not have occurred but for the activities of the defendant (Michele Pommier Models, Inc. v. Men Women N.Y. Model Mgt., Inc., 173 F.3d 845; see also Restatement [Second] of Torts § 766). In this case, three of plaintiff's employees breached their employment contracts and went to work for defendant, and defendant had knowledge of the contracts. However, the evidence submitted clearly established that the employees had become dissatisfied with their employment at plaintiff, were determined to breach their contracts and leave the employ of plaintiff, actively sought new employment prior to any involvement by defendant, and dictated the terms that they would require in order to work for defendant (see id.). The fact that defendant welcomed the breaching employees and agreed to their request for better terms of employment than those provided by plaintiff did not satisfy plaintiff's burden of establishing proximate causation (compare Gold Medal Farms, Inc. v. Rutland County Co-Op. Creamery, Inc., 9 A.D.2d 473). Accordingly, the court correctly found that there was no triable issue of fact as to whether defendant induced any of the breaches.

Since plaintiff's unjust enrichment cause of action was based primarily on the allegations that defendant tortiously interfered with the employment contracts, it was also properly dismissed.

We have considered and rejected plaintiff's remaining arguments.

THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT.


Summaries of

Cantor Fitzgerald Assoc. v. Tradition N.A.

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First Department
Nov 14, 2002
299 A.D.2d 204 (N.Y. App. Div. 2002)

affirming dismissal of tortious interference claim where defendant had knowledge of employment contracts, but evidence clearly established that employees were dissatisfied with employment at plaintiff company, were determined to leave that employment, actively sought new employment before any involvement by defendant, and dictated terms they would require in order to work for defendant

Summary of this case from IDG USA, LLC v. Schupp

requiring that the alleged interferor's action was the sine qua non of the alleged contract breach

Summary of this case from Levinson v. Primedia Inc.

relying upon Restatement of Torts § 766, which contains no "but for" language

Summary of this case from Astor Holdings, Inc. v. Roski Battlebots, Inc.

In Cantor Fitzgerald, however, evidence at trial established that the employees who breached their contracts with plaintiff, their former employer, by going to work for the defendant, had already become dissatisfied with their prior employment and were determined to breach their contracts with the plaintiff.

Summary of this case from Jones Grp. Inc. v. Zamarra
Case details for

Cantor Fitzgerald Assoc. v. Tradition N.A.

Case Details

Full title:CANTOR FITZGERALD ASSOCIATES, L.P., PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT, v. TRADITION…

Court:Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First Department

Date published: Nov 14, 2002

Citations

299 A.D.2d 204 (N.Y. App. Div. 2002)
749 N.Y.S.2d 249

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