1

Large corporation A has contractual obligations to provide customer service by phone.

By hiring many people to continuously make fake phone calls and jam up the company's phone lines, a third party disrupts A's ability to field calls from real customers.

Would any defenses allow A to avoid liability if a customer sues A for breach of contract based on its failure to provide customer service by phone?

8
  • 1
    I’m voting to close this question because it's regarding a technical implementation or business practice. – BlueDogRanch Mar 22 at 20:11
  • 3
    @BlueDogRanch I dont think it is, because a denial of service attack, however its done, is almost certainly against the law in many jurisdictions - you cant tie up someones phone lines, you cant block access to their buildings, you cant take down their websites etc etc etc. There are technical implementations to mitigate these things for sure, but there are also probable legal mitigations which can be taken. – Moo Mar 22 at 20:17
  • 1
    @astackexchangeuser - Re: "if ever a law..." One can only answer what the law is not what it might be. Consider rephrasing the question to ask about current legislation. – Rock Ape Mar 22 at 21:36
  • 1
    I’m voting to close this question because it requires speculation about what a hypothetical customer service contract might say ("may provide customer service contractually") or what a future law might require ("if ever a law mandated...such service"). – Ryan M Mar 23 at 4:25
  • 2
    I'm puzzled by the antipathy to what really seems like a very straightforward contract question: Company A has a contractual obligation customer B. Third Party X interferes with A's ability to perform. Does A have any defenses if B alleges a breach? – bdb484 Mar 23 at 18:00
2

If a customer sued the company for breach of contract under the circumstances you described, the company could be able to avoid liability by asserting an impracticability defense.

Under Restatement § 261, the impracticability defense excuses a party from performance when

after a contract is made, a party's performance is made impracticable without his fault by the occurrence of an event the non-occurrence of which was a basic assumption on which the contract was made, his duty to render that performance is discharged, unless the language or the circumstances indicate the contrary.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.