This chapter introduces the economic torts, i.e., those torts that have as their name suggests the primary function of protecting claimants' economic interests. They include the general economic torts of inducing breach of contract, the unlawful means tort, intimidation, lawful means conspiracy, unlawful means conspiracy and the misrepresentation economic torts of deceit, malicious falsehood, and passing off. The tort of negligence is also discussed as in exceptional circumstances it may perform the function of an economic tort but it is noted that its rationale is different from the economic torts. Unlike negligence, which looks to dependency, the economic torts look to unlawful acts and offer the common law rules of the economic game. The policy issue for all these torts is whether the courts, in the absence of an action for unfair competition, should adopt an interventionist or abstentionist policy in relation to imposing liability.
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