Saturday, May 05, 2007

What's Wrong With Inducing Breach of Contract? (3)

"Inducing Breach of Contract" was the basis of one of the most famous dubious-threatened-lawsuits in popular culture.

The Insider tells the story of Jeffrey Wigand (played by Russell Crowe), a former VP of research and development at Brown & Williamson, who told Sixty Minutes that the cigarette companies were manipulating cigarette chemistry to increase nicotine uptake. When he left his employer, Wigand signed a confidentiality agreement (a contract). CBS initially censored much of Wigand's interview because they were worried about being sued for inducing the breach of that agreement.

Assuming without deciding that Wigand's deal with his employer would be lawful in respect of this kind of information, why should it allow a lawsuit against CBS?

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