Washington Law Review


Craig Gannett


Lessor, the Joshua Green Corporation, breached the covenant of quiet enjoyment by refusing to repair the outside wall of the building in which the Cherbergs were leasing space for their restaurant and by threatening to post the building as unsafe. The Cherbergs sued the Green Corporation for breach of contract and for interference with business relations. The trial court sustained both causes of action. The jury awarded $3,100 as contract damages and $38,900 as tort damages for mental anguish. The Washington Court of Appeals upheld the damage award for breach of contract but concluded that the tort of interference with business relations was not applicable when the defendant's breach of contract constitutes the alleged interference. The Washington Supreme Court disagreed and reversed. Held: The Green Corporation was liable for interference with business relations because its intentional and unprivileged breach of contract interfered with the Cherbergs' relationship with third parties. Cherberg v. Peoples National Bank, 88 Wn. 2d 595, 564 P.2d 1137 (1977).

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