Civil Conspiracy:A civil conspiracy or collusion is an agreement between two or more parties to deprive a third party (usually all parties are within the same industry) of legal rights or to deceive a third party to obtain an illegal objective.
“Even when no crime is involved, a civil action for conspiracy may be brought by the persons who were damaged.”
If a civil conspiracy is found to have been committed, each conspirator will be held jointly and separately liable for the actions of each conspirator.
In order for the victim to succeed in a civil conspiracy case, he or she must prove the elements. The elements of a civil conspiracy are as follows:
- Two or more people who;
- Make an agreement to act together;
- With the intention to accomplish an unlawful goal with the purpose of harming another;
- That results in damages.
Running a small business takes a lot of time and energy, so when someone(s) acts in a way that negatively affects your business, it can be very frustrating, and when damages are caused by their actions, it can be very expensive.
A conspiracy occurs when two or more people (businesses) usually within the same industry, plot to commit an unlawful act. In some cases, a conspiracy can also occur when an act is not illegal, per se, but becomes unlawful when committed by a group of people. The main difference between a civil conspiracy and a criminal conspiracy is that in a criminal conspiracy, the actors are intending to commit an act that is punishable under criminal laws. A civil conspiracy can occur when two or more people conspire to commit an act that is not criminal, but is still unlawful, and another person is injured by the act.*
A conspiracy may also refer to a group of people who make an agreement to form a partnership in which each member becomes the agent or partner of every other member and engage in planning or agreeing to commit some act. It is not necessary that the conspirators be involved in all stages of planning or be aware of all details.
A recent example of collusion: It was revealed in the news recently that Loblaws and a number of other companies colluded for years to price-fix the retail cost of bread. They purposely got together and discussed how to raise the price of bread together so that they would not have to compete with each other. What this resulted in was over a decade of everyone in Canada paying more for a loaf of bread than they should have. Without competition, the bread makers were making a lot of dough!
Any voluntary agreement and some overt act by one conspirator in furtherance of the plan are the main elements necessary to prove a conspiracy. A conspiracy may exist whether legal means are used to accomplish illegal results, or illegal means used to accomplish something legal.
Unfortunately Take Time Cleaning has been a victim of civil conspiracy as well. For many years, a few of our closest competitors have met and acted together to purposely discredit our company online, in social media, and to our existing and potential customers. They have purposely sent an impostor to find out how Take Time operates causing a great deal of loss through payroll expense. This collaborative effort by them have tried to disrupt our competitive advantage of being able to charge less for our services, and pay our employees more than the industry average.
The people that will suffer most from this “Cleaners Civil Conspiracy” are the customers. They having misleading and false information, and they develop a distrust of the home cleaning industry in general, which hurts everyone. What is the solution? It’s simple, let competition thrive! Whether it is in sports, life or business, competition makes us try to perform our very best, at all times. Let’s let competition kill these civil conspiracies so that we can all win!