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Business Torts & Punitive Damages

William B. Hanley Dec. 26, 2019

Business torts are wrongful or negligent actions that are done to businesses or entities. A common result of these actions is financial “injury.” When you’re injured physically, you will want to seek financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and general pain and suffering. When your company is injured and has suffered financial loss, you will want to take a similar action to make up for what was lost.

Business litigation attorney William B. Hanley in Irvine, California has over four decades of experience working for clients involved with business torts. He’s represented countless plaintiffs and defendants alike in their cases in pursuit of the most favorable result possible. When you’re knee-deep in a legal issue, William can help, but before you meet with him, here are the basics when it comes to business torts and punitive damages that often result.

What is a Business Tort?

Business torts take many forms. In general, they can be done either purposefully out of sabotage or accidentally through negligence. If you live in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, or San Diego and are in need of a business torts attorney, you will need to know basic information so you know what your best options will be to protect your company. There are four primary categories: wrongful interference, unfair competition, disparagement, and computer torts.

Wrongful Interference

Also known as economic interference in California, wrongful interference typically involves a breach of contract between two parties. Cases of wrongful interference in which the defendant was negligent are handled differently than defendants who acted purposefully.

Unfair Competition

This category of economic torts is a deceptive or harmful business practice that financially harms either consumers or companies, also known as false advertising, which happens more than you may think. According to a study published in the Journal of Global Fashion and Marketing, researchers found that 82% of claims on advertising for cosmetics were deemed misleading or false. 


This business tort occurs when one party makes incorrect statements regarding the quality of goods or products. Individuals or companies may do this to rival businesses to make them seem unattractive to customers in an effort to steal them. In the 21st century, these appear often as it has become easier to create false reviews on the internet.

Computer Torts

Speaking of new 21st-century business torts, those involving the destruction of technology are occurring more and more as the technology holds most if not all of the value for a company. Someone could intentionally destroy a firm’s marketing software, which can hinder their efforts to reach a larger population of prospective customers. In some cases, even accidental damage to technology can be tried as a tort.

Punitive Damages in California

At the conclusion of business tort cases in which the defendant is found guilty, they may have to pay compensation to the company that suffered. Compensatory damages are ordered to repay what was lost or money that could have been made.

Conversely, punitive damages are granted to plaintiffs simply as a punishment to the defendant(s). When the defendant is found guilty of acting maliciously or intentionally, this payment (often up to four times the amount of compensatory damages) is ordered to make them think twice about what they did and to prevent them from acting in such a way again.

Experienced, Powerful Legal Representation

If you are being sued for a business tort, you need an aggressive business litigation attorney with more than four decades of experience on your side. Attorney William B. Hanley has the resources and knowledge needed to give you an advantage in the courtroom. 

On the other hand, if you believe that someone has either negligently or intentionally committed an act to harm your business, William will do everything in his power to make sure your voice is heard and to strive for a positive result. His office is located in Irvine, California, however, he has proudly served the entire state of California and the Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties.

Contact his office today to schedule a consultation and explore your options.