White Plains v. Cintas

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White Plains v. Cintas
Court New York Court of Appeals
Citation 867 N.E.2d 381
Date decided April 26, 2007

Facts

  • White Plains Coat & Apron Co. = "White Plains" = "White" = a New York company = a linen rental business
  • Cintas Corp. = "Cintas" = a national company serving many businesses = a company that rented linens
  • Cintas lured the customers of White away by offering lower rates for linen rentals
  • Many business customers of White would break their contracts in order to switch over to Cintas

Procedural History

Issues

Is a generalized economic interest in soliciting business for profit a defense to tortious interference if the tortfeasor has no previous relationship with the party under contract?

Arguments

  • White argued that Cintas knew that the customers had contracts with White.
  • Cintas claimed that it wasn't aware of the contracts the customers had with White.

Holding

No; if a tort-feasor has no existing relationship with a party, then the tortfeasor 's generalized economic interest in soliciting business is not a defense to tortious interference with the party's contract.

Judgment

Reversed

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