Civil Conspiracy Law and Legal Definition
In Tennessee, a civil conspiracy is defined as a "combination between two or more persons to accomplish by concert an unlawful purpose, or to accomplish a purpose not in itself unlawful by unlawful means, Participating in a civil conspiracy is not an independent tort. It is a derivative claim that requires the existence of an underlying tort or wrongful act committed by one or more of the conspirators in furtherance of the conspiracy.” Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Auth. v. Boatright, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74021, 13-14 (M.D. Tenn. Aug. 20, 2009)
To state a claim of civil conspiracy in Massachusetts, the plaintiff must allege, with sufficient supporting facts, that the defendants “acting in unison, had ‘some peculiar power of coercion’” over him that they would not have had if acting independently.” Carroll v. Xerox Corp., 294 F.3d 231, 243 (1st Cir. 2002), quoting Fleming v. Dane, 304 Mass. 46, 22 N.E.2d 609, 611 (1939). Joint action with resulting coercive effect (or, as Fleming described it, “a commanding influence,” 22 N.E.2d at 612) are hallmark characteristics of conspiracy, consequently. Absent contrary statutory language or authority, “conspiracy” as M.G.L. c. 32, § 10(2)(s) uses this term, is read reasonably as meaning joint action by the employer and employee to convert a voluntary separation from employment into a discharge or removal that could not have occurred if the employer or employee had acted individually.