Page images
PDF
EPUB

254

CENTRAL LAW JOURNAL,

No. 13

an

[ocr errors]

kute of tbe plaintiff's writ," the defendants" istully and without justifiable cause, mole gret, apd binder the plaintiff from carrying guld trade, occupation, or business as a stone be the said Mt. Waldo Granite Company, and fils

, unlawfulls, and unjustly had him disc that aby justifiable cause from the employd i sid Mt. Waldo Granite Company by w threatening, persuading, inducing, and by othe compelling, the said Mt. Waldo Granite DJ, piast its will

, and without any desire part se to do, to discharge the said plaintiff fr teploy for the sole reason that the plaintiff wou become a member in the order of the Mt. search of the Granite Cutters' National U Thereby be suffered the injury specially s 1 bis declaration. Does this statement of cidently set out an actionable wrong upon tE the defendants. That 10 sction lies under certain circumstan phearing a tbird person to break his contrac tax plaintiff bas been frequently decided by the Poland and of this country.

F. Gye, 2 El. & Bl. 216, decided i the action was for knowingly and maliciously in 13 opera singer to break her contract wi paintif to perform exclusively for a certain ti by theater. The right of action was sustaine zority of the court. la Bowen v. Hall

, 6 Q. B. Div. 333, decided in peran bad contracted to manufacture glazed Er the plaintiff

, and not to engage himself to ap at for a term of five years, The English cou Weals held that an action could be maint

[ocr errors]

both directions, and listen for the approach phans' Court of Baltimore City, claiming commis. of railroad trains, does not excuse the rail

sions for her husband as administrator of C. S.

Maltby; and the court below refused to allow ang road company from giving, the statutory and passed order dismissing her petition. signals as a warning of approaching trains; From this order she has appealed. As we bare and that when the neglect to give such sig. already said, the claim here set up is without

merit. In the case of Bassett v. Miller, 8 Md. 548, nals appears to have contributed to the col.

in which widow gave up her right to lision, the railroad company cannot recover

minister upon the estate of her husband in considera against the electric street railway company,

tion of receiving from the party in whose favor she

relinquisbed all the commissions except $100, this although the conductor of the electric car

court (Mason, J., delivering the opinion) said: who operated the derailing switch was negi- “While such contracts should not be encouraged, it is gent in failing to look in both directions, and

far better, in view of public policy and sound moral. to listen for approaching trains.

ity, that they should be sustained than that conduct
should be tolerated by this court by which solemo ed

gagements may be repudiated, and fraud and decepCONTRACT_VALIDITY CONSIDERATION. tion perpetrated with impunity." But the "engige. In Mott v. Fowler, 37 Atl. Rep. 717, decided

ment,” contract, or whatever it may be called, wbich

was made between the late Mr. Mott and the widow by the Court of Appeals of Maryland it was and children of the late C. $. Maltby, by which the held that an agreement, on sufficient consid- former was to act as administrator without commis: eration, to act as administrator, without com

sions, can be sustained upon well settled principles pensation, is valid, and that where one agrees

of law. It is said to be without consideration; but

not so. The widow and children, in consideration of with the widow and children of a decedent to the agreement of Mr. Mott, not only waived a valuable act as administrator without compensation,

right (that of administering) which the law (article and they become sureties on the bond, as

93, sec. 18, Code, Md.) vested in them, but they as

sumed the obligation of sureties on bis bond for the well as waive the right of administering

faithful performance of his duties as administrator. given them by statute, the agreement is sup

These constitute a sufficient consideration. Drury v. ported by sufficient consideration.

Briscoe, 42 Md. 164; Steele y. Steele, 75 Md. 477,
The
Atl. Rep. 959; Oblendorf v. Kanne, 66 Md. 499, 8 Atl

. court said:

Rep. 351. As was said in McCaw v. Blewit, 2 Me It would be a reproach to the law if such a claim as

Cord Eq. 90: "He voluntarily undertook the duty the appellant is making in this case could be recov.

under the express stipulation that he would not ered. It appears that the late Caleb $. Maltby, who

charge commissions, and he cannot now be permitted was a man of large means, residing in the State of

to violate that contract. That which was expressly Connecticut, died there intestate. The principal ad.

declared to have been intended as a gratuite shall not ministration upon his estate was had in that State.

now be converted into a demand." We do not con But he also owned some valuable leasehold property

sider it necessary to fortify our conclusion by the cits: in the city of Baltimore, which bis widow and two

tion of other authorities, or by a discussion of the daughters sold; they also being residents of Connecti

right of the orphans' court, in its discretion, to refuse cut. They were advised that they could not make a

commissions in a case like this. The testator of the satisfactory title to this Maryland leasehold estate

appellant made a valid and binding agreement, which witbout administering here,

was binding upon him during his life, and now that

Not desiring to be troubled with the details of this administration, and

he is dead it is equally binding upon his executris. only for the purpose of making a good title to property they had already sold, they requested the late

Posz. 761. 9.12. George P. Mott, who was then in their employ, and

ACTION FOR INDUCING Breach or Cos• had been for a long time employed by the late Mr.

TRACT—COMPELLING DISCHARGE OF SERVANT
Maltby, to act as administrator without compensation.
He replied that he would be happy to act in the ca.

-LABOR UNION.—The right to recover dampacity mentioned if it would spare the ladies trouble

ages against one for inducing anotber to and expense.” And in the same letter in which he

break à contract, was affirmed by the Sumade this statement he estimated that the total expenses of administration, not including attorney's

preme Judicial Court of Maine in Perkins . fees, would not exceed $300; giving the two items, haustively reviewed the authorities upon the

Pendleton, 38 Atl. Rep. 96. The court er viz., State tax on commissions and court expenses, and excluding all commissions for himself, except, of course, sufficient to pay the State tax on administra

question as follows: tor's commissions. But in addition to this he stated

The plaintiff alleges that upon a certain day he was, and for 22 years prior to that time had been in the employ of the Mt. Waldo Granite Company as I stone cutter, working by the piece; that he was mak ing large profits out of his employment; that he would have continned in such employment from the day pamed until the date of his writ "but for the wrong ful acts, inducements, threats, persuasions, and grier ances committed by said defendants against the said plaintiff as hereinafter set forth;" that on the day named, and "at divers other times thereafter until the

out the defendant for maliciously procu and of this contract, provided damage acesed that to sustain the action it was not necessar ** employer and employee should stand in the bution of master and servant. It was said b mit in this case: "That wherever a man do les which in law and in fact is a wrongful ac tako da oct 28 may, as a natural and probable Cance of it

, produce injury to another, and whi de particular case does produce such an injur Vhen (a the case will lie.

If these condi et istabied, the action does not the less lie bei the natural and probable consequence of the act listed of in an act done by a third person, or bet and act so done by the third person is a breat bay er contract by him, or an act illegal on bis til et otherwise imposing an actionable lial

Merely to persuade a person to b es setract may not be wrongful in law or fact; bre

. it the persuasion be used for the indirect base el tsjoring the plaintiff or of benefiting the

Teslaatat the expense of the plaintiff, it is a malic

Wested, and the cases themselves very freque

Kohich is in law and in fact a wrong act, and tb art at setionable act it injury ensued from it." The doctrine of these cases has been very gener ed, by the courts of this country. Walker v. Cro Bren

, $ N. J. Law,569; Haskins v. Roystei 1. C. 601; Daniel v. Swearengen, 6 8. Car. 297. bet beterary to refer to, it must be conceded that Berga do Wrongfully—that is, by the employm

I ws. : Bixby v. Dunlap, 56 N. H. 456; N

brew of these authorities and others, which

again and again that he was acting without compensation, and, when congratulated on the fact that he would get commissions on a large estate, he replied that "it did not amount to anything for bim-only the honor.” But it is conceded that Mr. Mott agreed to act as administrator without compensation. He died, however, before completing the administration, leaving a will in which the appellant, his widow, was named as executrix. She filed a petition in the Or

ulatul or improper means-induce a third pa Mo breaks contract with the plaintiff, whereby inj unlly and probably, and does in fact, en

ve the plaintif, la actionable; and the rule app

uma principle and authority as well to ca

date of the plaintiff's writ," tbe defendants "did un. lawfully and without justifiable cause, molest, ob. struct, and hinder the plaintiff from carrying on his said trade, occupation, or business as a stone cutter for the said Mt. Waldo Granite Company, and wrong. tully, unlawfully, and unjustly had him discharged without any justifiable cause from the employment of the said Mt. Waldo Granite Company by willfully threatening, persuading, inducing, and by other overt acts compelling, the said Mt. Waldo Granite Com. pany, against its will, and without any desire on its part so to do, to discharge the said plaintiff from its employ for the sole reason that the plaintiff would not become a member in the order of the Mt. Waldo Branch of the Granite Cutters' National Union;" whereby be suffered the injury specially set out in his declaration. Does this statement of facts sufficiently set out an actionable wrong upon the part of the defendants.

That an action lies under certain circumstances for procuring a third person to break his contract with the plaintiff has been frequently decided by the courts of England and of tbis country.

In Lumley v. Gye, 2 El. & Bl. 216, decided in 1853, the action was for knowingly and maliciously inducing an opera singer to break her contract with the plaintiff to perform exclusively for a certain time in bis theater. The right of action was sustained by a majority of the court.

In Bowen v. Hall, 6 Q. B. Div. 333, decided in 1881, person had contracted to manufacture glazed bricks for the plaintiff, and not to engage himself to any one else for a term of five years, The English court of appeals held that an action could be maintained against the defendant for maliciously procuring a breach of this contract, provided damage accrued; and that to sustain the action it was not necessary that the employer and employee should stand in the strict relation of master and servant. It was said by the court in this case: “That wherever a man does ao act wbich in law and in fact is a wrongful act, and such an act as may, as a natural and probable consequence of it, produce injury to anotber, and which in the particular case does produce such an injury, an action on the case will lie.

If these conditions are satisfied, the action does not tbe less lie because the natural and probable consequence of the act com. plained of is an act done by a third person, or because such act so done by the third person is a breach of duty or contract by him, or an act illegal on bis part, or an act otherwise imposing an actionable liability on him.

Merely to persuade a person to break his contract may not be wrongful in law or fact; but, if the persuasion be used for the indirect purpose of injuring the plaintiff or of benefiting the detendant at the expense of the plaintifi, it is a malicious act, which is in law and in fact a wrong act, and therefore an actionable act it injury ensued from it."

The doctrine of these cases bas been very generally adopted, and the cases themselves very frequently cited, by the courts of this country. Walker v. Cronin, 107 Magg. 555; Bixby v. Dunlap, 56 N. H. 456; Noice 8. Brown, 39 N. J. Law, 569; Hasking v. Royster, 70 N. C. 601; Daniel v. Swearengen, 6 S. Car. 297.

In view of these authorities and others, which it is not necessary to refer to, it must be conceded that for a person to wrongfully-that is, by the employment of unlawful or improper means--induce a third party to break a contract with the plaintiff, whereby injury will naturally and probably, and does in fact, ensue to the plaintiff, is actionable; and the rule applies both upon principle and authority as well to cases

where the employer breaks his contract as where it is broken by the employee; in fact it is not confined to contracts of employment.

But in this case the plaintiff does not allege that the Mt. Waldo Granite Company was induced by the wrongful means adopted by the defendants to break & contract, nor that there was any contract between the plaintiff and the employer for any definite time. We must, therefore, assume that there was none, that either party had the right to terminate the employment at any time, and that the act of the Mt. Waldo Company in discharging the plaintiff was lawful, and one wbich the company bad a perfect right to do at any time. The question presented then, is, whether a person can be liable in damages for inducing and persuading, by threats or other unlawful means, an employer to discharge his employee when the terms of the contract of service are such that the employer may do this at his pleasure, without violating any legal right of the employee. The question is a novel one in this State, but it has already arisen and been passed upon by the courts of some other States.

In Walker v. Cronin, 107 Mass. 555, the plaintiffs al. leged that the defendant did "unlawfully and without justifiable cause, molest, obstruct, and hinder the plaintiffs from carrying on" their business of manu. facture and sale of boots and shoes, "with the unlaw. ful purpose of preventing the plaintiffs from carrying on their said business, and willfully persuaded and induced a large number of persons who were in the employment of the plaintiff," and others who were about to enter into" their employment, “to leave and abandon the employment of the plaintiff, with. out their consent and against their will," and alleged that the plaintiffs lost the services of said person and the profits and advantages tbey would otherwise have made, and suffered losses in their business. It will be noticed that there is no allegation here of any definite contract as to time between the plaintiffs and their employees who were induced to leave their employment, and one ground of action was that certain persons who were about to enter into their employment, but who had not commenced at the time, were induced to leave and abandon the employment of the plaintiffs. But the court held in an exbaustive opin. ion which has been frequently cited by other courts in this country, and which was cited by counsel in the argument in Bowen v. Hall, supra, that the action could be maintained. It is said in the opinion: “This [declaration) sets forth sufficiently (1) intentional and willful acts (2) calculated to cause damage to the plaintiffs in their lawful business (3) done with the unlawful purpose to cause such damages and loss, without right or justifiable cause on the part of the defendant (which constitutes malice), and (4) actual damage and loss resulting.” The court quotes the general principles as announced in Comyns' Digest. “Action upon the Case:" "In all cases where a man has a temporal loss or damage by the wrong of another, he may have an action upon the case to be repaired in damages;' and goes on to say that “the intentional causing of such loss to another, without justifiable cause, and with a malicious purpose to inflict it, is of itself a wrong." Later in the opinion the court uses this language: "Every one has a right to enjoy the fruits and advantages of his own enterprise, industry, skill, and credit. He has no right to be protected against competition, but he has a right to be free from malicious and wantun interference, disturbance, or annoyance. If disturbance or loss come as a result of competition or the exercise of like right by others, it is damnum absque injuria, unless some

bce, would have continued, be is liabi fat toch injuries as naturally result t that the rule is the same whether by t Desas a contract of employment defini noked, or an employer is induced, sol duch procurement, to discharge an er e could otberwise have retained.

The edge of Heywood v. Tillson, 7 su conflicts with tbis result. Theret ply decided tbat the defendant was not ter what be bad a perfect and absolut Prep it in doing this he was actuated l notive against the plaintiff. Many ci the effect that "malicious motives 2. Forse, but they cannot make that Mon essence is lawful."

Fatbink that the important question Wis kind is as to the nature of the defen the cos adopted by bim to accomplis Verely to induce another to leave an er u disebarge so employee, by persuasio beterer whimsical, unreasonable, or in 100 of itself, unlawful, and we do no nach interference may become unlawfu

the defendant's malicious motives, but winidate an employer by threats, if tt duch a character as to produce t berebs cause bim to discharge an empi istired to retain, and would bave re her edeh unlawful threats, is an actio Sada we differ from the recent decisie Hat court in the case above referred to hats threat to do what the defendant brenld not be such a one as to make al- in an action of this kind.

superior right by contract or otherwise is ioterfered with. But if it come from the merely wanton or malicious acts of others, without the justification of competition or the service of any interest or lawful purpose, it then stands upon a different footing, and falls within the principle of the authorities first referred to."

This case was not decided upon the ground that the plaintiffs could recover for the loss of the value of actual contracts by reason of their non-fulfillment, be. cause, so far as the case shows, there was no breach of contract, but the gravamen of the action was, as expressed by the court, ''the loss of advantages, either of property or of personal benefit, which, but for such interference, the plaintiff would have been able to at. tain or enjoy."

In Chipley y. Atkinson, 23 Fla. 206, 1 South. Rep. 935, the court decided that, although no contract ex. isted between the master and servant, and no legal right, as between them, was violated, still the servant may maintain an action for damages against a third person who bas maliciously procured his discharge. Tbe court, in its opinion, after quoting freely from Walker v. Cronin, supra, and after referring to nu. merous other authorities, says: “From the authorities referred to in the last preceding paragraph, and upon principle, it is apparent that neither the fact that the term of service interrupted is not for a fixed period nor tbe fact that there is not a right of action against the person who is induced or influenced to terminate the service or to refuse to perform his agreement is of itself a bar to an action against a third person ma. liciously and wantonly procuring the termination of or a refusal to perform the agreement. It is the legal right of the party to such agreement to terminate it or refuse to perform it, and in doing so be violates no right of the otber party to it; but, so long as the former is willing and ready to perform, it is not the legal right, but is a wrong, on the part of a third party to maliciously and wantonly procure the former to terminate or refuse to perform it."

In Lucke v. Assembly, 77 Md. 396, 26 Atl. Rep. 505, decided in 1893, the action was to recover damages for the wrongful and malicious interference of the defendant, by means of which the plaintiff was discharged from bis e mployment, and thereby deprived of his means of livelihood. The defendant, a labor organization, gave notice to the plaintiff's employers that in case the plaintiff, a non-union man, was longer retained, it would be compelled to notify all labor organizations of the city that their house was a pon. union house. The work of the plaintiff was entirely satisfactory to his employers, who intended to retain him permanently, but who, in their contract, reserved the right to discharge him at the end of any week. The court decided that the action could be maintained and damages recovered from the defendant for mali. ciously and wantonly procuring his discharge. In that case the declaration aileged the procurement of a breach of contract by the wrongful acts of the de. fendant. The court held that the evidence did not sustain the declaration, but allowed an amendment, saying: "If there was po agreement for any particu. lar period of time, but the employment was one in which the agreement was that plaintiff should be given employment as long as he performed bis work satisfactorily, and he has been discharged from it solely through the malicious and wrongful procure. ment of the defendant, and injury has resulted, he should bave laid his case accordingly." We also quote from the same opinion, the following: “The appellant, by the action of the appellee, lost his place in

the month of February, and, although persistently in
quest of a position, he did not succeed in obtaining
work until the following April, when be secured em.
ployment with a merchant tailor at five dollars less
per week tban he was receiving when he was dis-
charged. It would be strange, indeed, if the law, un.
der such a state of facts as this record exhibits, pro-
vided no remedy." In this latter case Chipley v. At-
kinson, supra, is quoted, and expressly approved.

In Raycroft v. Tayntor, 68 Vt. 219, 35 Atl. Rep. 58,
decided in 1896, it was held that one who procures the
discharge of an employee, not engaged for any deti.
nite time, by threatening to terminate a contract be.
tween himself and the employer, wbich be bada
right to terminate at any time, is not subject to an ac-
tion by the employee for damages, whatever may
have been his motive in procuring the disebarge.
But the doctrine of the latter cases cited in this opia:
ion was expressly recognized and approved by the
court in this language: "The authorities cited for
the plaintiff clearly establish that if the defendant,
without having any lawful right, or by an act of
threat aliunde the exercise of a lawful rigbt, had
broken up the contract relation between the plaintiff
and Libersont, maliciously or unlawfully, although
such relation could be terminated at the pleasure of
either, and damage had thereby been occasioned, the
party damaged could have maintained an action
against the defendant therefor."

In Harvester Co. v. Meinhardt, 24 Hun, 489, the
court said: “A distinction bas been sought to be
made between the cases where there has been so 08.
expired time contract and cases where the services
were by the day, or by the piece, but I do not think
such distinction rests upon any sound reason.
In such case the injury to the property and business
of the employer would not consist so much in break:
ing the contract which existed as in the loss of proits
derived from the work of the laborer if he continued
in the employment; and the probability or certainty
of such loss would be, in each case, a question of
fact."

The same principle has been applied to the pro-
curement, by wrongful means, of the breach of con-
tracts of sale. For instance, in the case of Benton .
Pratt, 2 Wend. 385, the plaintiff had made an oral
contract for the sale of chattels. The contract AS
not enforceable, because within the statute of frauds.
The defendant fraudulently represented that the
plaintiff did not intend to carry out the contract, sed
deliver the chattels, and thereby procured a breach
of the contract by the other party to it. It was said
by the court: “It is not material whether the cot-
tract of the plaintiff with Seagraves & Wilson 3
binding on them or not. The evidence established
beyond all question that they would have fulfilled it
but for the false and fraudulent representations of the
defendant."

And in Rice v. Manley
tracted by parol to sell and deliver to the plaintifa
quantity of cheese, but, being made to believe, bf the
fraud of the defendant, that the plaintiff did not wadi
the cheese, sold it to the defendant. The contract
was not bioding because within the statute of frauds
but it would have been performed by s bad it not
been for the fraud of the defendant. The eourt beld
that an action was maintainable against the defend-
ant therefor.

Our conclusion is that wherever a person, by meada
of fraud or intimidation, procures either the brescia
of a contract or the discharge of a plaintiff from a
employment, wbich, but for such wrongful interler

ILLEGAL TRADE RIVA

As was noticed at some lengt vious article," a person is allowed in conducting bis business and go Tade relations. There are of cou besidess which the law does not 113 against public policy, and ay not conduct his business in s place which would render it a society. With such restrictions we u to do in the present articleuit treat of the relation of a man to society but to individuals who jared by the manner in which the

Y. 82, one s bad con

pasdueted. In the previous artic to the noticed that injurious act pepetition might be done from i

caprice, or even with a bad moti law refuse to consider the motive explications and uncertainties urine from such consideration, the sapetition should be impaired. in this article endeavor to circums

W

Ceol L 1.312

[ocr errors]

ence, would have continued, he is liable in damages privileges of legitimate trade competition and for such injuries as naturally result therefrom; and

disclose the boundary where the law says that the rule is the same whether by these wrongful

thus far and no farther. Although many acts means a contract of employment definite as to time is broken, or an employer is induced, solely by reason of trade rivalry done to the injury of another of such procurement, to discharge an employee whom

do not create legal liability the law looks he would otberwise have retained. The case of Heywood v. Tillson, 75 Me. 225, in no

upon them with disfavor, and if they are to way conflicts with this result. There the court sim- go unpunished they must come strictly within ply decided that the defendant was pot liable for do- the limits of legitimate competition. As a ing what he had a perfect and absolute right to do,

broad and general proposition, while a pereven if in doing this he was actuated by a malicious motive against the plaintiff. Many cases were cited son for whatever motive may enter into, or to the effect that "malicious motives make a bad continue, or refuse to enter into or continue act worse, but they cannot make that wrong which in

business relations with another without liaits own essence is lawful."

We think that the important question in an action of bility because of any malicious intent, it is this kind is as to the pature of the defendant's act, and not his privilege to maliciously influence anthe means adopted by bim to accomplish his purpose.

other in the conduct of his business so as to Merely to juduce another to leave an employment, or to discharge an employee, by persuasion or argument

willfully injure a tbird person.? In Delz v. however whimsical, unreasonable, or absurd, is not, Winfree the syllabus of the report states the in and of itsell, unlawful, and we do not decide that

question at issue as follows: “No action for such interference may become unlawful by reason of the defendant's malicious motives, but simply that to

conspiracy will lie by a butcher against sevintimidate an employer by threats, if the threats are eral dealers in beef cattle because they have of such a character as to produce this result, and

combined to refuse to sell him beeves, but thereby cause him to discharge an employee whom he desired to retain, and would have retained, except

where the petition further alleges that defor such unlawful threats, is an actionable wrong. fendants also induced a dealer in slaughtered Nor do we differ from the recent decision of the Ver

meat to likewise refuse to sell him, such inmont court in the case above referred to, which holds that a threat to do what the defendant had a right to

terference with his business is a cause of ac. do would not be such a one as to make a defendant tion." And the following from the opinion liable in an action of tbis kind.

of the court will give the substance of the court's decision: "The appellee also asserts

the following proposition, which may be conILLEGAL TRADE RIVALRY.

ceded to be correct: "A person has an ab

solute right to refuse to have business relaAs was noticed at some length in a pre- tions with any person whomsoever, whether vious article, a person is allowed great liberty the refusal is based upon reason, or is the rein conducting his business and governing his sult of whim, caprice, prejudice or malice, trade relations. There are of course lines of and there is no law which forces a man to business which the law does not allow be- part with his title to his property. The cause against public policy, and a person privilege here asserted must be limited, howmay not conduct his business in a way or in ever, to the individual actions of the party a place wbich would render it a nuisance to who asserts the right. It is not equally true society. With such restrictions we have noth: that one person may from such motives in. ing to do in the present article. We shall fluence another person to do the same thing.” not treat of the relation of a man's business This quotation, which is unquestionably good to society but to individuals who may be in- law, has expressed the distinction which we jured by the manner in which the business is are seeking as clearly as we could by exconducted. In the previous article referred tended comment. A comparison between to we noticed that injurious acts of trade competition might be done from mere whim 2 Delz v. Winfree, 16 S. W. Rep. 111; Olive v. Van or caprice, or even with a bad motive, and the

Patten, 25 S. W. Rep. 428; Moores & Co. v. The law refuse to consider the motive lest in the

Bricklayers' Union, No. 1, VII R. & C. L. J. 108; Van

Horn, 52 N. J. Law, 284; Jackson v. Stanfield, 36 N. complications and uncertainties which would

E. Rep. 345; Temperton v. Russell, 4 Reports (Q. B. arise from such consideration, the freedom of

A.) 376; Curran v. Galen, 22 N. Y. S. 826; Consolidated competition should be impaired. We shall

Steel & Wire Co. v. Murray, 80 Fed. Rep. 811; State

v. Glidden, 55 Coon. 46; State v. Dyer, 67 Vt. 690; in this article endeavor to circumscribe these Murdock v. Walker, 152 Pa. St. 595; Vegelabn v. 1 43 Cent. L. J. 302.

Guntner, 44 N E. Rep. 1077.

[ocr errors]

Lumley v. Gye and Boulier Bros. v. Macau- a desire to injure his employer or some third ley,+ will aid us in distinguishing between person, but if some third person induces the legitimate and illegal competition. In both employee to quit work, with the intention of of these cases, one who had contracted to injuring the employer, and not to secure the perform at a theater was induced to break services of the one whom he induces to quit, her contract. In both cases the result was the employer may hold such third person in injury to the one with whom the singer had damages for the injury. Again an employer first contracted. In the English case the may discharge his employee, and, therefore, party who caused the breach of contract and may threaten to discbarge him, if he does not consequent injury to the other party was held conform to certain requirements, even if in liable. In the Kentucky case he was not held so doing bis object is solely to injure his emliable. The reason for the distinction is not ployee or a third person ; but what an emdifficult of comprehension. There is nothing ployer may do of his own accord without listo show in the former case that the party in- bility, another person may not induce him to ducing the singer to break her contract wished do. This is very clearly stated in Chipley v. to secure her performance at his theater, or Atkinson. The syllabus of the report states the had any motive in the line of trade competi- case as follows: "An action lies in behall tion. In the latter case there was no inten- of an employee against a person who has ma. tion shown to injure the owner of the theater liciously procured an employer to discharge who bad first hired Mary Anderson, and the such employee from employment in which he injury to him may be considered only an in- is engaged under a legal contract for a cercident. The

manager
of a rival theater

tain period, provided damage result to the wanted Mary Anderson to play at his theater employee from such discharge.” After reand hired her to play on the same night upon citing authorities at length the court says, which she had previously agreed to perform “From the authorities referred to in the preat the theater with whose owner she first con- ceding paragraph and upon principle, it is tracted; and in consequence of this, her con. apparent that neither the fact that the term tract with the first theater owner was broken. of service interrupted is not for a fixed Granting, however, that in the Kentucky period, nor the fact that there is not a right case an intention to do injury to the one who of action against the person who is induced first hired Mary Anderson had been the con- or influenced to terminate the service or to trolling motive of the one who afterwards em- refuse to perform his agreement, is of itself a ployed her under circumstances which caused bar to an action against the third person maliher to break her first contract, then in both ciously and wantonly procuring the terminacases the injury would have been intentional. tion of or a refusal to perform the agreement

. The distinction would undoubtedly have been It is the legal right of the party to such the same; for in the Kentucky case the de

agreement to termipate it or to refuse to perfendant was exercising his right to employ form it, and in so doing he violates no right whomsoever he pleased, and the court could of the other party to it, but so long as the not, if our contention in our former article is former is willing and ready to perform, it is correct, go beyond that right to inquire into not the legal right but is a wrong on the part his motive or consider the broken contract. of the third party to maliciously and wantonly In the English case the defendant was not so

procure the former to terminate or refuse to shielded. The court in deciding the Ken- perform it.” As we have intimated when tucky case, bowever, did not draw this dis.

one causes another to change bis trade relatinction which we have just made. Although tions with a third person to the injury of the they reached, as it seems to us, a correct third person the motive with which it is done decision, in explaining their decision they be

5 Lumley v. Gye, 2 El. & Bl. 216; Boken v. Hall, 6 came entangled in an erroneous consideration

L. R. (Q. B. D.) 333; Haskins v. Royster, 70 N. C. 601; of the motive. An employee may quit work, Carew v. Rutherford, 106 Mass. 1; Walker v. Cronia

, or tbreaten to quit, regardless of his motive, 107 Mass. 555; Consolidated steel & Wire Co. v. Mur

ray, 80 Fed. Rep. 811; Sherry v. Perkins, 147 Maxe. even though his acts are prompted alone by

212; Thomas v. C., N. 0. & T. P. Ry. Co., 62 Fed.

Rep. 803. 3 2 El. & BI. 216.

6 Chipley v. Atkinson, 1 South. Rep. 934; Curran v. 4 91 Ky. 110.

Galen, 22 N. Y. S. 826; State v. Glidden, 55 Conn. 46.

« PreviousContinue »