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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 27621
Experience:  Former judicial law clerk, lawyer
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Can I sue a former employee away good customers?

Customer Question

Can I sue a former employee for driving away good customers?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

Did the employee have any sort of non-compete agreement? What is he doing to drive away your customers?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
No non-compete agreement. She was my receptionist and pissed off many people--giving medical advice over the phone or saying we couldn't see clients soon. (I'm a veterinarian)
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you.

Colorado does recognize a cause of action for Intentional Interference with Contract, which occurs when a person "intentionally and improperly interferes with

the performance of a contract... between another and a third person by inducing or otherwise causing the third person not to perform the contract, is subject to liability to the other

for the pecuniary loss resulting to the other from the failure of the third person to perform the contract." Slater v. Driving Force, LLC, and cases cited.

So, in order to sue her, there are a couple of things that you have to show. First, that you had existing contractual agreements with the people she was turning away/giving medical advice to or otherwise making not want to come to your practice. Second, that she was doing this on purpose (meaning that she was malicious and not just very bad at her job), and that she had an improper motive. The fact that she worked for you could make it tough to show an improper motive unless she was working with someone who had a competing practice. And in that case, you could sue that person, too, for conspiracy and intentional interference. But if you can show all of those things, then you could have a case against her.

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Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I guess I need to call former clients who no longer come here because of her and hear their story...
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

That might help. If she's just incompetent or she didn't know, that's not a lawsuit. But if she's intentionally sabotaging your business, that is.

Any emails she sent from an email address you gave her are the property of the business, so if she had access to anything like that, you could also read through the messages to see if they tell you anything.