July 7, 2023

Business Conspiracy Law And How It Benefits Your Company

Business litigation sometimes encounters an allegation that two or more defendants are involved in a conspiracy to maliciously and willfully injure the plaintiff in their trade, reputation, profession, or business.

Such conspiracy claims are extremely popular in Virginia, where the business-conspiracy statute prohibits these business conspiracies. It enables the recovery of triple damages and reimbursement of lawyers’ fees to the successful plaintiff.

If this type of claim is made against your business, never be intimidated into giving an unfair settlement.

The Business Conspiracy Law

The business conspiracy law explains that if two or more individuals conspire to hurt a business willfully, they’re guilty of a crime and should pay damages.

However, this law is extremely particular about what constitutes an illegal act under that code section.

For an act to fall under the Virginia business conspiracy law, it should have been:

  • Attempted by two or more individuals in a coordinated effort.
  • Committed with the particular intention of destroying or otherwise hurting a business.

Furthermore, the harm must have led to real, tangible damages to the business. It means you must prove that your business suffered real monetary damages.

Another interesting aspect of the business conspiracy law is that it covers the civil and criminal penalties for committing a business conspiracy.

Penalties Covered In The Business Conspiracy Law

We have outlined two Penalties covered in a business conspiracy law:

Criminal Penalties

Virginia Code § 18.2-499 explains that conspiracy to damage a business is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Any successful conviction may cause up to one year in jail or a fine of around $2,500.

Civil Penalties

It is an unusual part of the business conspiracy law. Code § 18.2-500 enables a hefty financial penalty for people found guilty of violating this conspiracy law. The civil penalty is composed of three different parts:

  • Thrice the dollar amount of the harm to your company (also called “treble damages”).
  • The expense of a lawsuit and other associated court costs.
  • Additional charges for the plaintiff’s attorney.

That hefty fee is among the primary deterrents for people who conspire against the business.

For several businesses, losing one customer to any negative review may lead to a judgement of thousand dollars.

If you believe you have a strong case, you must discuss your options with an attorney to determine if filing a civil lawsuit is worth your time and effort.

What If Your Business Gets a Bad Review?

If your company gets a malicious or negative review, there are some ways you can cope with this situation.

“Real” business reviews allow you to improve your service or product. Meanwhile, malicious or fake reviews can be removed via legal action.

If you establish that some people conspired together to damage your business, you may pursue damages for about three times the business you lost because of their illegal actions.

In that way, if you get multiple malicious or fake reviews, you must contact an attorney. Working together, you can remove the negative reviews and take measures towards clearing your online reputation.