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Fraud -Misrepresentation Elements Intentional Misrepresentation-Manderville_v_PCG&S Group, Inc

 A.  Applicable Legal Principles (Element of Reliance)

            In Buyers' complaint, the gravamen of which is the allegation that Brokers deceived and harmed them by falsely representing both in the second MLS listing and during Fowler's June 22 call to Clark that the property could be split, Buyers assert a claim for deceit based on intentional misrepresentation of facts.

            To establish a claim for deceit based on intentional misrepresentation, the plaintiff must prove seven[4] essential elements:  (1) the defendant represented to the plaintiff that an important fact was true; (2) that representation was false; (3) the defendant knew that the representation was false when the defendant made it, or the defendant made the representation recklessly and without regard for its truth; (4) the defendant intended that the plaintiff rely on the representation; (5) the plaintiff reasonably relied on the representation; (6) the plaintiff was harmed; and (7) the plaintiff's reliance on the defendant's representation was a substantial factor in causing that harm to the plaintiff.  (CACI No. 1900; see Sources and Authority foll. CACI No. 1900, supra, pp. 921-922, citing Civ. Code,[5] §§  1709 & 1710, & Engalla, supra, 15 Cal.4th at p. 974.)

            The element of intentional misrepresentation at issue in this appeal is reasonable or justifiable reliance.[6]  The California Supreme Court has explained that "[r]eliance exists when the misrepresentation or nondisclosure was an immediate cause of the plaintiff's conduct which altered his or her legal relations, and when without such misrepresentation or nondisclosure he or she would not, in all reasonable probability, have entered into the contract or other transaction.  [Citations.]  'Except in the rare case where the undisputed facts leave no room for a reasonable difference of opinion, the question of whether a plaintiff's reliance is reasonable is a question of fact.'  [Citations.]  'However, whether a party's reliance was justified may be decided as a matter of law if reasonable minds can come to only one conclusion based on the facts.'  [Citation.]"  (Alliance, supra, 10 Cal.4th at p. 1239.)

            The Alliance court also explained that "'[n]egligence on the part of the plaintiff in failing to discover the falsity of a statement is no defense when the misrepresentation was intentional rather than negligent.'  [Citation.]  'Nor is a plaintiff held to the standard of precaution or of minimum knowledge of a hypothetical, reasonable man.'  [Citation.]  'If the conduct of the plaintiff in the light of his own intelligence and information was manifestly unreasonable, however, he will be denied a recovery.'  [Citations.]"  (Alliance, supra, 10 Cal.4th at pp. 1239-1240, italics added.)
 

Manderville PCG&S Group, Inc  D047285 1/24/07 CA/4/1

 

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