To state a claim for tortious interference with contract under New York law, a plaintiff must allege (1) the existence of a valid contract between plaintiff and a third-party, (2) that defendant had knowledge of the contract, (3) defendant's intentionalprocurement of the third-party's breach of the contract without justification, (4) actual breach of the contract, and (5) damages resulting therefrom. Lama Holding v. Smith Barney, 88 N.Y.2d 413, 424 (1996); see also, Finley v. Giacobbe, 79 F.3d 1285, 1294 (2nd Cir. 1996). If any of the foregoing elements is not present, a claim for tortious interference with contract will not properly be found to lie.
Moreover, a tortious interference with contract claim is only proper when a defendant causes a third-party (not the plaintiff) to breach the underlying contract. See Kirch v. Liberty Media Corp., 449 F.3d 388, 401 (2nd Cir. 2006) (holding, inter alia, that a required element of a tortious interference claim is “defendant's intentional procurement of a third-party's breach of the contract without justification …”) (internal citations omitted). Stated differently, a plaintiff is barred from seeking recovery upon a tortious interference with contract claim where, as here, it is the plaintiff who is the breaching party. Iacono v. Pilavas, 125 A.D.3d 811, 4. N.Y.3d 250, 252 (2nd Dept. 2015) (holding, inter alia, that plaintiff's tortious interference with contract claim was subject of dismissal where plaintiff, and not any third-party, breached the contract).