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Legal Memorandum: Intentional Misrepresentation Claims in MN

Issue: What are the elements of a claim for fraud or intentional misrepresentation?

Area of Law: Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Fraud or intentional misrepresentation; False representation; Proximate cause
Jurisdiction: Federal, Minnesota
Cited Cases: 244 N.W.2d 648; 627 N.W.2d 342; 446 N.W.2d 372; 32 Minn. 197; 387 N.W.2d 168; 967 F.2d 1208
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 01/01/2009

The elements of a claim for intentional misrepresentation are:

That defendant (1) made a representation (2) that was false (3) having to do with a past or present fact (4) that is material (5) and susceptible of knowledge (6) that the representer knows to be false (7) with the intent to induce the other person to act (8) and the person in fact is induced to act (9) in reliance on the representation [and] (10) that the plaintiff suffered damages (11) attributable to the misrepresentation.

 

M.H. v. Caritas Family Servs., 488 N.W.2d 282, 289 (Minn. 1992).  If the false representation is a concealment of a material fact, the defendant must “knowingly conceal[] a material fact that is peculiarly within his own knowledge,” and the other party must “rel[y] on the presumption that the fact does not exist.”  Flynn v. Am. Home Prods. Corp., 627 N.W.2d 342, 350 (Minn. Ct. App. 2001) (quotation omitted). 

Specifically with respect to fraudulent omissions, the defendant must be under a legal or equitable obligation to communicate the material fact to the other party.  Id. at 350.  The speaker “must say enough to prevent his words from misleading the other party,” and if he has special knowledge of material facts to which the plaintiff does not have access, he may have a duty to disclose those facts.  Richfield Bank & Trust Co. v. Sjogren, 309 Minn. 362, 244 N.W.2d 648, 650 […]

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