Tortuous Interference

A month ago I got an email with the above title as the subject line. The email was from the fellow who had installed our geo-thermal system and the first thing I thought was “OMG, there’s been a recall on our heat unit because of some sort of ‘tortuous interference’. Oh, no!”.

Fortunately, it was nothing of the sort.

It was, however, very short.

He had apparently read one of the postings I had put up complaining about his service, or near-to-complete lack, thereof.

He claimed I had several “inaccuracies” and stated that I had posted his “direct name” to a “public internet website”. And he graciously gave me a whole 24 hours to meet his demands.

Hey, I would have been happy to use his indirect name but all I had was his “direct” one. And I might have posted it elsewhere but the only internet sites I found were public.

So I wrote him back asking for a little more specificity in regard to what he was talking about. Namely, which website was he referring to, and the exact phrases that were slanderous and untrue.

I mean, I would hate to go to the Better Business Bureau or the Chamber of Commerce website and clean them up properly and then find out he was talking about Yelp or Complaint.com or one of the other places I mentioned his poor service.

Heck! He might’ve even been talking about this blog!!

I wanted to upload it to Angie’s List as well but they wanted to charge me to post a complaint. And now I wonder how useful – really – her “great” site is when people willing to write a review have to pay to get it listed. Really! What cheek!

Anyway, the twenty-fours passed without any further response from him. So he either cooled down, deleted the email, or forwarded the entire mess to his lawyer.

And, speaking of lawyers, I also clued him in to the exact wording I think he was trying to get across.

It’s not “tortuous interference” but rather “tortious interference”.

The legal meaning is that he accuses me of helping one of his contracting parties (i.e. “a client”) break their contract (i.e. “tort”) with him by promising them a better deal than they had with him, so I can make the money he should have rightfully been entitled.

The only problem with that scenario is that I have no idea who he has contracts with, nor did I influence them to break their deal with him because I had any sort of better offer for them. And I certainly made no money off any such wild supposition.

Hmm, maybe my years of studying law might come into use here, huh?

Except that he has not responded to my interrogatory.

Perhaps I should motion for suspension or commutation of the case?

Any torts… er, thots on the matter?


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