The fourth essential element asks whether the defendant was aware of the plaintiff’s contract with the third party. Intentional interference presupposes knowledge of the plaintiff’s contract. Without knowledge there can be no intent and no liability. This leads one to ask whether mere knowledge of the contract is sufficient for purposes of establishing liability. The answer is a qualified “no”. The defendant must also know of the contract’s essential terms. However, the law assists the plaintiff by holding that a defendant who has the means of acquiring knowledge of the contract’s terms and deliberately fails to do so will be deemed to have acquired the requisite knowledge. This understanding of the law accords with the general principle that a conscious decision not to inquire into the existence of a fact may be treated as the equivalent to knowledge of the fact (OBG Limited v. Allan, at para. 41).
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