What is Fraud?
Fraud and misrepresentation do not always require the actual making of a false statement. It can sometimes occur by failing to make a statement when obligated to do so.
Silence can be fraud. For example, if the law imposes upon someone a duty to disclose a known defect (such as in a residential real estate contract) and someone intentionally remains silent, that silence is fraud as well.
What is Negligent Misrepresentation?
Negligent misrepresentation generally occurs when someone makes a statement that they “should have known” was not true. This is contrasted to knowing for sure the statement was false. The nuances between intentional and negligent misrepresentations can be very small, but the remedies can be significant. Generally, intentional misrepresentation may entitle a victim to punitive damages, whereas negligent misrepresentation does not generally give rise to claims for attorney fees.
Types of Fraud
Some of the most common fraud claims are real estate fraud, contract fraud, financial fraud, lending fraud, employer fraud and bankruptcy fraud, or hiding assets or grossly undervaluing assets.
Silence Can Be Fraud
Fraud and misrepresentation do not always require the actual making of a false statement. It can sometimes occur by failing to make a statement when obligated to do so. For example, if the law imposes upon someone a duty to disclose a known defect (such as in a residential real estate contract) and someone intentionally remains silent, that silence may be fraud as well.
The elements of a Louisiana fraud or intentional misrepresentation are:
1. A representation of fact – there must be a representation of an existing fact as expressions of opinions and puffing statements are not actionable;
2. The representation was false;
3. The representation was material;
4. The speaker knew of the falsity of the representation or was ignorant of its truth;
5. The speaker intended that the representation be acted on;
6. The party to whom the representation was made did not know of the falsity of the representation;
7. The party to whom representation was made relied on the truth of representation;
8. The party to whom representation was made had a right to rely on the representation; and
9. Reliance on the misrepresentation caused damages
Damages may be compensatory and include attorney fees where there is fraud.
Get Help Resolving Fraud Claims in Your Favor
If you have been a victim of fraud or misrepresentation, call 504-704-1414
for a free consultation with an experienced Lamothe Law Firm attorney.
Frank Lamothe has been consistently recognized as one of the leading trial attorneys in Louisiana and the nation.
Listed in Best Lawyers in America • Listed in Super Lawyers • Invited member, American College of Trial Lawyers • Invited member, American Board of Trial Advocates • Member, The Litigation Counsel of America • Member, The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 • Listed as Nation’s Top 1% by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel • Best Law Firms – U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers