each of the sureties for the sum of $200,121.36. On November 23, 1982, Nicholson informed the Joint Venture that Geofreeze had "admitted an inability to pay." On November 24, 1982, Nicholson sent a letter to the Joint Venture via Buckley, notifying it that a formal claim had been filed against the bond through each of its sureties. Contemporaneously, Nicholson requested that the Joint Venture withhold funds from Geofreeze. Thereafter, the Joint Venture refused to pay Hannah for Geofreeze's invoices that had been submitted to Hannah for the weeks of November 22, 1982 through January 10, 1983. On December 17, 1982, Aetna Casualty & Surety Company wrote to Buckley requesting the Joint Venture to confirm in writing that Aetna's rights would "be 'protected at no cost, expense or obligation to Aetna Casualty. '"
In early December, Geofreeze told the Joint Venture it would attempt to work out an arrangement with Nicholson to hold the Joint Venture harmless. This protection was never provided. Geofreeze was told on December 28th that the Joint Venture would look on the situation "more favorably" if Geofreeze provided a payment and performance bond. Such a bond was never produced. It appears from the record evidence that the Joint Venture never gave Geofreeze formal notice of its decision to withhold payments.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
Summary judgment may only be granted when the evidence "shows that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). Courts must "resolve any doubts as to the existence of genuine issues of fact against the moving parties." Continental Ins. Co. v. Bodie, 682 F.2d 436, 438 (3d Cir. 1982), citing, Hollinger v. Wagner Mining Equipment Co., 667 F.2d 402, 405 (3d Cir. 1981); Ness v. Marshall, 660 F.2d 517, 519 (3d Cir. 1981); Tomalewski v. State Farm Life Ins. Co., 494 F.2d 882, 884 (3d Cir. 1974). Moreover, inferences drawn "from the underlying facts contained in the evidential sources submitted to the trial court must be viewed in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion." Id., citing Hollinger v. Wagner Mining Equipment Co., 667 F.2d at 405; Goodman v. Mead Johnson & Co., 534 F.2d 566, 573 (3d Cir. 1976), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 1038, 50 L. Ed. 2d 748, 97 S. Ct. 732 (1977).
Geofreeze argues that certain inferences can be drawn from the material facts supporting its claims of intentional interference with contract and intentional interference with business expectancies which make the grant of summary judgment inappropriate in this case. Geofreeze contends that it can be inferred from the record evidence that the Joint Venture decided in late September 1982 "to drive Geofreeze off the job . . . but waited until installation of freeze pipes and freezing was near completion until taking direct steps in this regard." Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment para. 16. In support of this contention, Geofreeze argues that the Joint Venture failed to issue notice of breach or notice to cure before withholding payments and failed to utilize its arbitration provision with Hannah to attempt to work out a less drastic remedy. The Joint Venture apparently knew in August, 1982 that the project would be significantly delayed and that the delays would necessitate retaining Geofreeze's services for an indeterminate period of time. Geofreeze had originally been scheduled to leave the job in January, 1983. Furthermore, the Joint Venture never turned over any of the funds withheld from Geofreeze over to Nicholson. Finally, the Joint Venture billed the City over $900,000 for the Geofreeze system but only paid Geofreeze $423,938.71.
After carefully considering the record, this court has determined that the inferences drawn by Geofreeze either are not supported by the record or do not raise material issues of fact.
The Restatement (Second) of Torts § 766 defines intentional interference with contract:
One who intentionally and improperly interferes with the performance of a contract . . . between another and a third person by inducing or otherwise causing the third person not to perform the contract, is subject to liability to the other for the pecuniary loss resulting to the other from the failure of the third person to perform the contract.
Since probably none would dispute that the Joint Venture's notifying Hannah that it would no longer honor Geofreeze invoices was intentional, the question is whether this act was improper. Section 767 lists the factors to be considered:
(a) the nature of the actor's conduct,