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Lumley v. Gye

King’s Bench
118 Eng. Rep. 749 (K.B. 1853)


Lumley (plaintiff) operated an opera house. He employed Johanna Wagner as a performer. Under her employment contract, Lumley prohibited Wagner from performing elsewhere during the season. Gye (defendant) operated a competing venue. He desired to harm Lumley’s business, and maliciously enticed Johanna Wagner to perform elsewhere. Gye was successful, and Wagner accepted other employment. She then breached her contract with Lumley and discontinued her performance at Lumley’s opera house. Lumley brought suit against Gye for damages.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Crompton, J.)

Dissent (Coleridge, J.)

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