Legal Memorandum: Fraudulent Concealment in MN

Issue: What constitutes fraudulent concealment in Minnesota?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Fraudulent concealment; Material facts
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 538 N.W.2d 20; 244 N.W.2d 648; 13 F.3d 1266; 392 N.W.2d 520; 627 N.W.2d 342
Cited Statutes: Restatement (Second) of Torts § 551
Date: 11/01/2012

Under Minnesota law, a misrepresentation claim may be based on fraudulent concealment, which occurs when one party knowingly conceals a material fact that is "peculiarly within his own knowledge," and the other party relies on the presumption that the fact does not exist.  Richfield Bank & Trust Co. v. Sjogren, 309 Minn. 362, 364, 244 N.W.2d 648, 650 (1976), cited in Flynn v. American Home Products, 627 N.W.2d 342 (Minn. App. 2001).  In order to prevail on a misrepresentation-by-omission claim, the plaintiff must prove that (1) the defendant omitted a past or present material fact unknown to the plaintiff and that the defendant was under a duty to disclose, (2) the defendant intended for her to rely on the omission, (3) she did rely on the omission, and (4) she suffered pecuniary damages as a result of her reliance.  Williams v. Heins, Mills & Olson, PLC, No. A09-1757 (Minn. Ct. App. Aug. 24, 2010) (citing Specialized Tours v. Hagen, 392 N.W.2d 520, 532 (Minn. 1986); Richfield Bank & Trust, 309 Minn. at 366, 244 N.W.2d at 650 (holding that the omission of facts can support a misrepresentation claim if there is a legal duty to disclose)). 

The elements of fraudulent concealment are similar to the elements of actual fraud, except that, in lieu of proof of an affirmative statement or misrepresentation, the plaintiff must establish a duty to disclose and the defendant’s breach of that duty.  See […]

Subscribe to Litigation Pathfinder

To get the full-text of this Legal Memorandum ... and more!

(Month-to-month and annual subscriptions available)