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The business disparagement tort is intended to protect the economic interests of the injured party against pecuniary loss. A plaintiff must plead and prove not only that the defendant's statements were false, but also made with malice, which requires that the defendant knew the disparaging statement was false, acted with reckless disregard concerning its truth or falsity, or acted with ill will or intended to interfere with the plaintiff’s economic interests in an unprivileged fashion. Proof of special damages is also required. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s statement played “a substantial part in inducing others not to deal with the plaintiff with the result that special damage, in the form of the loss of trade or other dealings, is established.”