Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Crackpot Suit, Part Deux

The second action that Stuart Pivar has alleged against PZ Myers is what is generally known as "interference with contract." There are four elements to this tort under New York law (which should control even though the case has been brought in Federal court):

  • (1) existence of a valid contract;
  • (2) defendant's knowledge of that contract;
  • (3) defendant's intentional procuring of an actual breach of that contract; and
  • (4) damages.
It does not appear that Pivar has properly plead an interference with contract tort under New York law. He doesn't allege a specific contract nor a breach of that contract. He merely alleges that PZ interfered with "Plaintiffs business relations and have damaged Plaintiffs business investments." New York law requires an actual breach of an existing contract in order for there to be a tort. Furthermore, the defendant must know of the specific contract, though malice on the part of the defendant is not required (i.e. the act procuring the breach could be merely negligent). Thus, vague allegations about "interests" and "investments" being damaged does not actually allege an interference with contract.

The third relief Pivar asks for is essentially that the allegedly libelous material be removed from the blog. While I'm not aware of any case law on point, it is clearly reasonable to require that if the statement is found to be libelous.

In my opinion, this suit is eloquent evidence of a man with more money than brains.

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