Skip to Content
Menu Toggle

What are aiding and abetting torts?

Aiding and abetting torts encapsulate the legal concept of holding a person responsible for the actions of another person when that person provided substantial assistance or encouragement to the wrongdoing. In other words, a person who aids and abets the commission of a tort (a civil wrong) can be held legally responsible for the damages caused by that tort.

In some cases, a person may have additional liability for aiding and abetting a tort even if they did not directly participate in the wrongful act but instead provided support or encouragement to the person who committed it.

For example, if Person A intentionally provides money or other resources to Person B to help Person B commit a tort, and Person B goes on to commit the tort, Person A may be held liable for the damages caused by that tort as an aider and abettor.

Need help with an issue involving aiding and abetting torts? Schedule your consultation today with a top business litigation attorney.

What legal issues typically arise related to aiding and abetting torts?

The following disputes are among the most common to aiding and abetting torts:

  • Proving knowledge and intent: To be liable as an aider and abettor in Florida, the person must have known of the tortious conduct and provided substantial assistance or encouragement to that conduct. The parties might argue over the existence of this knowledge, including the extent to which the defendant knew their actions would lead to the wrongful act.
  • Substantial assistance: Florida law requires that the person providing aid or assistance must have done so in a manner that substantially contributed to the commission of the tort.
  • Causation: The parties might disagree over whether the defendant’s actions were at least partially the cause of the resulting wrongful act.

What are relevant laws related to aiding and abetting torts in Florida?

The law of aiding and abetting grew from common law. As such, there are not any particularly relevant statutes or regulations that govern the action. However, Florida case law identifies some instances where civil liability for aiding and abetting tortious activities is appropriate, including the following:

  • Fraud causes: Florida courts sometimes assign liability for aiding and abetting when it pertains to defrauding another person or company.
  • Fiduciary duty cases: Many aiding and abetting cases state claims of an individual assisting a board member, member of an LLC, or shareholder of a business organization in breaching their fiduciary duty. Such an assisted breach occurred in Taubenfeld v. Lasko, 324 So.3d 529 (Fla. 4th DCA 2021), where the aider and abettor allegedly assisted in diverting some funds to an LLC that benefitted only some of the board members and not the corporation as a whole.

What is required to prove a case of aiding and abetting torts in Florida?

To prove that someone aided and abetted a tort, the plaintiff must show: (1) the party the defendant aided performed a wrongful tortious act that caused the injury; (2) the defendant was generally aware of their role as part of the tortious activity at the time they assist; and (3) the defendant knowingly or substantially assisted in the principal violation

When a set of facts is appropriate to meet the requirements of Aiding and Abetting Torts, there are many paths a claimant may take. We are value-based attorneys at Jimerson Birr, which means we look at each action with our clients from the point of view of costs and benefits while reducing liability. Then, based on our client’s objectives, we chart a path forward to seek appropriate remedies, such as:

  • Damages: The primary remedy in a case involving aiding and abetting a tort is the award of damages to the victim. Damages may include compensation for any harm or losses suffered due to the tort.
  • Injunctive relief: Sometimes, a court may issue an injunction requiring the defendant to cease certain conduct or take specific actions.
  • Restitution: A court may order the defendant to make restitution to the victim for any property or assets that were wrongfully taken or misused.
  • Criminal penalties: In some cases, the conduct that constitutes aiding and abetting a tort may also be a criminal offense. The defendant may be subject to criminal penalties such as fines or imprisonment in these cases.
  • Disgorgement: A court may order the defendant to disgorge any profits or benefits resulting from the tortious conduct.

To see what actions may be available for your unique situation, please contact our office to set up your initial consultation.

What are common defenses to aiding and abetting torts in Florida?

The primary defenses to aiding and abetting torts in Florida include:

  • Lack of intent: The defendant did not intend to assist or encourage the commission of the tort.
  • Lack of knowledge: The defendant was unaware that their actions would result in the commission of the tort. If the defendant can show that they were unaware of the wrongful act or did not intend to help the person commit the tort, they may not be liable for aiding and abetting.
  • Involuntary Act: The defendant’s actions must have been voluntary. If the defendant can allege their actions were involuntary, the defendant might not be found liable.
  • Lack of causation: If the party’s actions were not a direct and foreseeable result of the defendant’s substantial assistance, the defendant must be liable. There must be some connection between the defendant’s aiding and abetting and the wrongful act.

To see what defenses may be available for your unique situation, please contact our office to set up your initial consultation.

Have more questions about an aiding and abetting torts-related situation?

Crucially, this overview of aiding and abetting torts does not begin to cover all the laws implicated by this issue or the factors that may compel the application of such laws. Every case is unique, and the laws can produce different outcomes depending on the individual circumstances.

Jimerson Birr attorneys guide our clients to help make informed decisions while ensuring their rights are respected and protected. Our lawyers are highly trained and experienced in the nuances of the law, so they can accurately interpret statutes and case law and holistically prepare individuals or companies for their legal endeavors. Through this intense personal investment and advocacy, our lawyers will help resolve the issue’s complicated legal problems efficiently and effectively.

Having a Jimerson Birr attorney on your side means securing a team of seasoned, multi-dimensional, cross-functional legal professionals. Whether it is a transaction, an operational issue, a regulatory challenge, or a contested legal predicament that may require court intervention, we remain a tireless advocate every step of the way. Being a value-added law firm means putting the client at the forefront of everything we do. We use our experience to help our clients navigate even the most complex problems and come out the other side triumphant.

If you want to understand your case, the merits of your claim or defense, potential monetary awards, or the amount of exposure you face, you should speak with a qualified Jimerson Birr lawyer. Our experienced team of attorneys is here to help. Call Jimerson Birr at (904) 389-0050 or use the contact form to set up a consultation.

Jimerson Customer Service

We live by our 7 Superior Service Commitments

  • Conferring Client-Defined Value
  • Efficient and Cost-Effective
  • Accessibility
  • Delivering an Experience While Delivering Results
  • Meaningful and Enduring Partnership
  • Exceptional Communication Based Upon Listening
  • Accountability to Goals
Learn more
Jimersonfirm Awards
Jimersonfirm Awards
Jimersonfirm Awards
Jimersonfirm Awards
Jimersonfirm Awards
Jimersonfirm Awards
Jimersonfirm Awards
we’re here to help

Contact Us

Jimerson Birr