APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ARTHUR
A. SULLIVAN, JR., Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE JOHNSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Plaintiff, Jack J. Mitchell, brought suit against defendants, Ralph Weiger, William B. Johnson, Stanley E.G. Hellman, Illinois Central Industries, Inc., and its subsidiary, Abex Corporation, and Signal Stat Corporation. The amended complaint alleged wrongful interference with plaintiff's contractual rights. Plaintiff appeals from the judgment of the circuit court of Cook County dismissing his cause of action pursuant to section 45 of the Civil Practice Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 110, par. 45). We affirm the trial court.
At issue is whether plaintiff's complaint is substantially sufficient in law. The complaint, as twice amended, alleged that on March 24, 1972, plaintiff executed a contract with Paul Journee S.A. of France (Journee), a French Corporation. Under the contract, plaintiff had the exclusive right to sell and promote Journee products within North America. It was established for an initial period of 6 months, after which renewal was possible by mutual agreement.
On August 18, 1972, the contract was amended to constitute the final contract between plaintiff and Journee. The amendment reads as follows:
"THESE PRESENTS WITNESSETH THAT:
According to contract between the parties settled in BEZONS on March 24th 1972, the application of renewal possibility provided in the XVth article is decided but for one month period reckoning from September 24th 1972.
Accordingly, the XVth article is replaced as following:
`This contract, which has been settled for SIX MONTHS' can be renewed, with one accord, by one month periods.
`According to the precedent, the term of the contract' signed on March 24th 1972 is settled on October 24th 1972."
Plaintiff alleged that on or about October 3, 1972, defendants Weiger and Johnson falsely represented to him that defendants Illinois Central Industries, Abex Corporation and Signal Stat Corporation had purchased Journee. The complaint stated defendant Weiger requested that plaintiff cancel product promotion and sales. On the basis of this information, plaintiff alleged he canceled the promotion of Journee products.
Plaintiff further alleged that on or about October 14, 1972, he received a letter from Mr. Paul Journee, the president of Journee. The letter informed plaintiff that because of several difficulties the company was having in obtaining financing, it had decided "to get associated with the Abex Corporation of the Illinois Central Industries Group" and that Signal Stat would manage the interests acquired by Abex and Illinois Central Industries. For those reasons, the letter stated, it would be impossible to renew the contract between plaintiff and Journee and extend it beyond October 24, 1972. Plaintiff alleged the contract with Journee had been breached as a result of inducement by defendants.
Defendants filed a motion to dismiss. Following a hearing, the trial court dismissed the complaint.
1 The dispositive question is whether the complaint stated a cause of action. Plaintiff asserts the complaint was based upon the tort of inducing the breach of a contract. Liability results from the intentional and unjustified inducement to breach another's contract (see Blivas & Page, Inc. v. Klein (1972), ...