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ProveMyFloridaCase.com > Posts tagged "fraud"

To Pierce Corporate Veil, there Needs to be Sufficient Findings of Improper Conduct

A trial court’s decision whether to pierce the corporate veil is reviewed under a de novo standard of appellate review because it presents a pure issue of law.  Flooring Depot FTL, Inc. v. Wurtzebach, 2021 WL 5348903, *2 (Fla. 4th DCA 2021). The recent decision in Flooring Depot FTL demonstrating that piercing a corporate veil is not so easy, and really, far from it.  In this case, homeowners did not receive approximate 1,912 square feet of purchased flooring.  The homeowners sued the flooring company for not providing all of the flooring they paid for and claimed fraud. The homeowners attempted to...

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Possible or Speculative Events do Not Give Rise to Fraudulent Nondisclosure

To prove fraud, a plaintiff MUST prove: 1) a false statement of a material fact by the defendant; 2) the defendant had knowledge that the statement was false; 3) the defendant intended that the statement induce the plaintiff to act on it; and 4) damages by the plaintiff in relying on the defendant's statement.  Pritchard v. Levin, 2020 WL 2050691, *2 (Fla. 3d DCA 2020).      When a fraud claim concerns nondisclosure--a failure to disclose material information--such claim “exists only when there is a duty to make such disclosure.” Id. (citation omitted).  The court determines, as a matter of law, whether a...

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A Misrepresentation is Not the Same as a Breach of Contract

A claim based on a misrepresentation is NOT the same as a claim based on a breach of contract.  Two notes to self one must consider before throwing a misrepresentation-type claim into the fray: First note to self:  when pleading a claim based on a misrepresentation, whether fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent inducement, or negligent misrepresentation, it is imperative to plead those misrepresentations with specificity.  See Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.120. Second note to self:  a fraud claim is NOT a replacement to a breach of contract claim. “It is well settled that a party may not recover damages for both breach of contract...

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A General Release is Not Absolute

General releases, unfortunately, are not absolute.  A recent ruling from the Third District Court of Appeal in Falsetto v. Liss, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D1340d (Fla. 3d DCA 2019) confirms this point, although, candidly, I have mixed feelings regarding this ruling.    In this case, the Court held that the term “unknown” in a general release is not synonymous with the term “unaccrued;” thus, a release of an unknown claim does not mean a release of an unaccrued claim.  In theory, this makes sense since a future claim should not be barred.  It is one thing if the facts giving rise...

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Proving ALL of the Elements of a Fraudulent or Negligent Misrepresentation Claim

Fraud claims are hard to prove. Any fraud claim or claim predicated on a misrepresentation is an intentional tort; therefore, it requires proof that the defendant had the intent to induce the plaintiff to act on a misrepresentation and the plaintiff actually relied on and acted on the misrepresentation. While fraud-type claims are perhaps commonly pled, pleading a fraud-type claim and proving a fraud-type claim are two different things. A party can plead a fraud-type claim to get passed a motion to dismiss. Proving the fraud-type claim, however, is a different story. Plaintiffs need to understand the elements they are...

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Fraud in the Performance of a Contract

Claims for fraudulent inducement and fraudulent misrepresentation are claims that are oftentimes pled despite there being a contract being the parties. Besides these claims being fact-based and challenging to prove in certain instances, they are harder when there is a contract between the parties. Fraud is only actionable if it is separate and distinct from the contract. In other words, fraud needs to give rise to a tort claim independent of the contract; a breach of contract is not fraud because the fraud is not independent of the contractual breach. See Peebles v. Puig, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1080a (Fla. 3d DCA...

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