Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Intimidation Definition:

An intentional, economic tort against a person who issues a threat to engage in unlawful conduct if specified demands are not met.

Related Terms: Intentional Tort, Economic Tort, Conspiracy, Unlawful Interference with Economic Interests, Inducing Breach of Contract, Threat, Civil Conspiracy

Also known as the tort of intimidation. Intimidation is both an intentional tort (as opposed to negligence) and a species of economic tort.

In Central Canada Potash v. Government of Saskatchewan, Chief Justice Laskin of the Supreme Court of Canada used these words to define the "tort of intimidation":

"A commits a tort if he delivers a threat to B that he will commit an act or use means unlawful as against B, as a result of which B does or refrains from doing some act which he is entitled to do, thereby causing damage either to himself or to C.

"The tort is one of intention and the plaintiff, whether it be B or C, must be a person whom A intended to injure."

In Sauvé v Canada, Justice Crampton of the Federal Court of Canada wrote, at ¶44:

"A cause of action in intimidation must be supported by alleged facts that are capable of establishing that (i) a person threatened to commit an act or to use means unlawful against the interest of the threatened person, (ii) the threat caused the threatened person to do or refrain from doing something he or she was entitled to do, and (iii) the person making the threat intended to injure the threatened person

"(The) tort of intimidation does not arise where a defendant followed a course of action that he or she believed to be lawful."

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