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Florida Civil Litigation Claims for Fraud

Florida Civil Litigation Claims for FraudIn Florida civil litigation claims for fraud, you can make a claim for fraud based on multiple theories. One theory is fraud in the inducement. Another contrasting theory is fraud in the factum. Each have their own distinctions.

Fraudulent inducements requires the plaintiff to show:

(1) misrepresentation of a material fact;

(2) the maker of the misrepresentation knew or should have known of the statement’s falsity;

(3) intent by the maker of the statement that the representation induce another to rely and act on it; and

(4) resulting injury to the party acting in justifiable reliance on the representation.

Fraud in the inducement looks a lot like a home seller who tells the buyer that the home is brand new and has all new appliances. If the buyer makes the purchase only to move into the home and realize that the seller took all the appliances with him, then the buyer may have a claim for fraudulent inducement.

One fact that would strengthen such an argument is if the cost of purchasing new appliances is great. If the buyer has to spend an extra $10,000 to get what he actually bargained for, then spending that extra money is likely a “damage” to the buyer and the buyer likely would not have purchased the home if he knew that it would actually cost $10,000 more than he had agreed. The latter is what makes the statement by the seller that the appliances were included a “material” fact.

Fraud in the factum is where a party is tricked as to what the contract is about. An example of fraud in the factum is where one party lies about what a contract says in order to get the other party to sign the contract.

For example, if one party speaks very little English, and a property manager tells that individual that an apartment lease is for one year at a rate of $500 per month, when in fact the lease is for three years at $1,000 per month, then the tenant would likely have a valid claim for fraud in the factum against the property manager.

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