INTERLOCUTORY APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF HAMILTON COUNTY, INDIANA, THE HONORABLE JUDITH S. PROFFITT, JUDGE, CAUSE NO. C86-513.
Shields, P.j. Buchanan, J., Concurs. Conover, J., Concurs.
World Productions, Incorporated, by interlocutory appeal, seeks reversal of the Hamilton Circuit Court's judgment dismissing two counts of its complaint against the Capital Improvement Board of Managers of Marion County, Indiana.
The issues certified for review are:
1) whether an action for tortious interference with a contractual relationship exists by the breaching party against an alleged inducing third party; and
2) whether punitive damages may be assessed against the Capital Improvement Board of Managers of Marion County?
The Capital Improvement Board of Managers of Marion County, (C.I.B.), created by IC 36-10-9-3 (Burns Supp. 1987), is responsible for operating the Indiana Hoosier Dome and Convention Center located in Indianapolis, Indiana. On January 22, 1985, World Productions, Incorporated (W.P.I.) contracted with the C.I.B. to use those facilities during January of 1986. W.P.I. initiated this action against the C.I.B. when the convention facilities allegedly were not made available as agreed. W.P.I. sought punitive damages for breach of contract in Count I of its complaint. In Count III, W.P.I. sought damages against the C.I.B. for tortiously interfering with its ancillary contractual obligations to various exhibitors. W.P.I. seeks reversal of the trial court's dismissal of these counts.
W.P.I.'s claim for tortious interference with a contractual remedy was properly dismissed by the trial court. As a basis for its claim, W.P.I. alleged the C.I.B.'s fraudulent breach of its contract with W.P.I. caused W.P.I. to breach its ancillary contracts with exhibitors. However, an action for tortious interference with a contractual right is not available to the party in breach.
"An action for intentionally inducing a breach of contract exists when a third party, acting in bad faith, and with knowledge of the contract, induces a party to the contract to breach it. When this occurs, the non-breaching party has an ...