Delz v. Winfree

In Delz v. Winfree, 80 Tex. 400, 16 S.W. 111 (Tex. 1891) a butcher sued two cattle dealers alleging that they had conspired between themselves and with another butcher to refuse to sell him live animals or slaughtered meat "without justifiable cause, and unlawfully, and with the malicious intent to molest, obstruct, hinder, and prevent plaintiff from carrying on his said business". The Court held that the plaintiff's pleadings stated a cause of action. The Court stated that while one person could refuse to do business with another "whether the refusal is based upon reason, or is the result of whim, caprice, prejudice, or malice", a person could not induce a third person not to do business with the other without "some legitimate right or interest of his own". The Court explained further that a person has no right to be protected against competition, but he has a right to be free from malicious and wanton interference, disturbance, or annoyance. If disturbance or loss come as a result of competition, or the exercise of like rights by others, it is damnum absque injuria, unless some superior right, by contract or otherwise, is interfered with. But if it come from the merely wanton or malicious acts of others, without the justification of competition or the service of any interest or lawful purpose, it then stands upon a different footing. Delz, 16 S.W. at 112.