Fraud & Misrepresentation
Fraud is a reckless or false representation or omission of fact. Misrepresentations or omissions must be committed with an intent to induce a party to act or to withhold from acting, and that party must rely on the reckless or false representation or omission of fact in their decision to act or not act.
Fraud can be a difficult claim to prosecute for a number of reasons. One is that a plaintiff must prove knowing and justifiable reliance under each type of fraud. Actual and justifiable reliance means that a plaintiff had to know of the misrepresentation itself and justifiably relied upon the misrepresentation to its detriment. Another reason that fraud can be difficult to prosecute is that it is the plaintiff’s burden to prove that a defendant either:
- Knew a material representation was false;
- Made a material representation as an assertion without having knowledge of its veracity; or
- Had a duty to disclose material facts that were either omitted or misrepresented.
Finally, a plaintiff must prove the reckless or false representations or omissions of fact were made by a defendant with the intent to induce the plaintiff into a desired action or failure to act.
Because of these challenging elements, a potential plaintiff should retain competent, experienced counsel to prosecute these claims.