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Let's say that a business owner A maliciously sues a competing business owner B alleging that business owner B has stolen trade secrets that contained information about business owner A's customers and that business owner B has unfairly solicited them over from business owner A. Of course, this is not true as none of the customers were actually solicited over, but business owner A still asks for monetary damages.

Meanwhile, because of this malicious lawsuit, business owner B is unable to sell his business to potential buyers at full price because this is a wildcard for new buyers as they don't know what will happen next as they don't have all the facts.

  1. Has there been precedent in California where such plaintiffs have been successfully countersued for lost business sale value because of a malicious lawsuit that did cast doubt about customer ownership?
  2. If yes, then what keywords should I search for on an internet docket like docketalarm to find such lawsuits? Is this possibly "slander of title"?
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    uh... sounds like A did go on SLAPP suit?
    – Trish
    Jan 21 at 23:15
  • @Trish Thanks, I looked up what SLAPP means and seems close to the situation I am describing but the main difference is that plaintiff did not know anything about business owner's B intent to sell his business. There was no intent by plaintiff at the time of filing lawsuit to stop the sale. Rather it is merely just incompetence and greed by business owner A. Jan 21 at 23:23
  • @Trish I actually read about [anti-]SLAPP a little more and it seems that SLAPP may work the other way here. As example, if Business owner B would counter sue Business owner A for lost business sale value, then court may dismiss this case under anti-SLAPP measures. The most similar precedent I found is this one where even unjustified mechanical lien claimants are protected by litigation privilege fbm.com/publications/…. Jan 23 at 0:09

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