Legal Memorandum: Negligent Misrepresentation in MN

Issue: What are the elements of the tort of negligent misrepresentation in Minnesota?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Negligent misrepresentation; Duty of reasonable care
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 616 N.W.2d 732; 488 N.W.2d 282; 122 N.W.2d 26; 624 A.2d 1134; 820 N.W.2d 807
Cited Statutes: Restatement (Second) of Torts § 311
Date: 11/01/2012

Restatement (Second) of Torts § 311 provides that the elements of the tort of negligent misrepresentation are: (1) a duty of reasonable care in conveying information; (2) a breach of that duty by negligently giving false information; (3) reasonable reliance on the misrepresentation, which reliance is the proximate cause of injury; and (4) damages.  See Smith v. Brutger Cos., 569 N.W.2d 408, 413 (Minn. 1997).  Thus, establishing liability for negligent misrepresentation requires proof of all the elements of actual fraud except for fraudulent intent or scienter; instead, the plaintiff must show that the misrepresentation was made negligently, i.e., that the defendant had a duty to provide accurate information and failed to do so.  30 COA2d 1, supra, Cause of Action for Fraudulent Inducement of Employment § 5; see also id. § 16 (stating that establishing liability for negligent misrepresentation generally requires proof that the defendant had a duty arising out of a business or employment relationship to provide the plaintiff with accurate information, and failed to exercise reasonable care in doing so; compare Hughlett v. Sperry Corp., 650 F. Supp. 312 (D. Minn. 1986) (the plaintiff failed to establish the defendant’s negligence in giving assurances of job security where there was no evidence that the defendant should have anticipated layoffs at the time assurances were given) with Pearson v. Simmonds Precision Prods., Inc., 624 A.2d 1134 (Vt. 1993) (a negligent misrepresentation claim may be based on the fact that, before the plaintiff was hired, the defendant knew there was […]

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