In California, a justification for a fraud claim can occur when a person misrepresents tangible facts, makes false assurances, or otherwise misleads another person with the intention of divesting them from their property, rights, and/or money. Fraud and deceit are fully defined in California Civil Code Sections 1572, 1709, and 1710. The following are the kinds of fraud claims allowed under California law.
Intentional misrepresentation is considered to have taken place when a person deliberately convinces another person to rely on misleading statements of fact, which the second person understandably relies on and, as a result, suffers some form of loss or damage.
A claim of intentional misrepresentation demands the below-listed elements:
- A person made a misleading assertion of fact, knowing the assertion was untrue. Statements of opinion or overall hyperbole, such as a salesperson boasting about a product they are trying to sell, are allowed, even if the opinion exaggerates the product’s performance or advantages
- There was an intention on the part of the person making the deceptive statement to swindle the other person with the help of the false statement
- The other person understandably believed the untrue statement, which was a principal factor in causing the losses or damages they suffered
- The other person experienced losses and/or damages as a real and imminent outcome of the deliberate deception
- A person made an untrue declaration of fact to another person, with no rational justification for believing the declaration is true, even if the person who made the declaration believes it to be accurate
- The person making the false declaration expected the other person to believe the falsification
- The second person did understandably believe the misrepresentation, which was a principal factor in causing the losses and/or damages they endured
- The second person sustained losses and/or damages as a real and imminent outcome of the deliberate deception
A claim of false promise demands the below-listed elements:
- A person made a promise which they never intended to keep, even at the time they first made the promise
- The person who made the promise did so in hopes that the other person would depend on the promise being fulfilled, and the other person did, in fact, rationally depend on the promise t be fulfilled
- The person who made the promise did not satisfy that promise
- The other person experienced losses and/or damages and the false promise was a principal factor in causing the losses and/or damages they endured
Citing a viable claim for fraud based on any one of these sets of conditions will pave the way for considerably larger awards than your standard breach of contract claim, or will give supplementary advantage to the person making the claim as an attempt to negotiate a quick settlement. This is mainly because of the likelihood of being awarded punitive damages in the event that fraud is proven. Punitive damages are intended to punish the offender and are typically based on a percentage of the offender’s resources, which is otherwise not taken into account when damages are awarded.
If you are considering filing a claim for fraud, or are in need of someone to defend you against such a claim, you need an experienced business contract attorney to examine any relevant legal documents. Please reach out to the trusted and qualified business law and contract law attorneys at Leiva Law Firm by calling our law offices at (818) 703-1777. Our attorneys speak both English and Spanish.