BREACH OF CONTRACT I FRAUD I VERDICT – Homeowner Recovers $1.63 Million in Damages against Mortgage Fraud Broker In Fraud, Negligent Misrepresentation, Breach of Fiduciary Duty Action
October 23, 2019
Susceptible plaintiff prevails in her claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary dutyagainst a mortgage company and its principal owners. After deliberations the jury awards the susceptible plaintiff $1,135,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages, and the Court rescinds the fraudulent agreement. Linked herein is our previous blog discussing the difference between Punitive Damages and Compensatory Damages: https://dianalegal.com/fraud-i-damages-i-civil-litigation-punitive-damages-vs-compensatory-damages/
Case Study – Verdict Search: A defrauded homeowner filed an action against a mortgage company and its two principal owners, seeking monetary damages and equitable relief to set aside a grant deed on the grounds that it was procured by fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty. The homeowner recently widowed had an elementary education and limited English skills. The plaintiff’s deceased spouse handled the family’s financial affairs and sought counsel from the defendants prior to his passing. The defendants fraudulently represented that transfer and bankruptcy documents were refinancing agreements and based on that representation the susceptible plaintiff executed the contracts.
After deliberations a jury found for the plaintiff on her claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty, awarding the plaintiff $1,135,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages. The court ultimately rescinded the transfer agreement that granted the property to the defendants and the plaintiff remained on title as the homeowner.
Below are additional posts discussing Real Estate Fraud and Mortgage Fraud:
Our Civil Fraud Series, discussing causes of action for fraud is included below:
Contract Remedies and Damages are outlined in the Contract Chart below:
|Contract Damages /Remedies:
|Damages that compensate the plaintiff for the unique loss they suffered as a result of the breach of contract, which includes costs and expenses incurred as a result of the breach of contract.
(AKA: Consequential Damages)
|If there is an actual loss suffered by the non-breaching party.
|Punitive damages are only awarded to an injured plaintiff when the defendant’s conduct was despicable or reprehensible. Punitive damages are designed to punish a wrongdoer for the wrongful conduct and discourage similar conduct in the future.
|There is a showing of fraud, bad faith, breach of fiduciary, oppression, deceit or malice
|A liquidated damages clause in a contract that specifies an amount of damages, payable to a non-breaching party in the event of a specific type of breach or failure to preform. In order for a liquidated damages clause to be found enforceable amount it must be a reasonable “estimate” of actual damages which will be sustained by a non-breaching party in the event of a breach.
|(1) A liquidated damages clause is included in the agreement; and
(2) The specific amount of payable damages is a reasonable estimate of actual damages.
|In situations in which monetary damages will not make a plaintiff whole, a court may order specific performance. This requires the breaching party to perform their obligations under the contract. Specific performance is a common remedy in real estate disputes, since each piece of real property is considered unique.
|What is bargained for in the terms of the agreement must be unique so that no award for monetary damages would suffice.
The common law equitable remedy of rescission
|The word “rescission” is derived from the word “rescind” which means to cancel or set aside. It seeks to restore the parties to a contract to the positions they held before they first entered into the contract. Rescission nullifies or “undoes” the contract which relieves all parties of their duties and obligations under the contract.
|There are numerous grounds for rescission however the most common:
– Mistake of Fact or Law
· Intentional Misrepresentation
· Negligent Misrepresentation
· Failure to Disclose a Material Fact
· Intentional Concealment of a Material Fact
– Undue Influence
If you or someone you know has fallen victim to fraud or has executed a contract induced by misrepresentation we encourage you to call our offices today at 619-432-5145 for a free consultation with one of our Fraud Attorneys and Contract Lawyers.