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Actual Fraud Cases Summarized By Injury Attorney

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Fraud Actual and the related topic of intentional torts. For more information on fraud see the pages on Wikipedia.

Fraud Actual-Statutes

See Va. Code § 8.01-249 indicating cause of action arises when fraud discovered or reasonably should have been discovered.

See Va. Code § 18-2-216 as to deceptive advertising.

See Va. Code § 59.1-68.3 giving rise to civil action for deceptive advertising.

See Va. Code § 55-80 in reference to fraudulent conveyances.

See Virginia Consumer Protection Act, Va. Code § 59.1-200 as to actions for misrepresentation being basis for recovery of actual damages and reasonable attorney’s fees.

Fraud Actual-Cases

2012 Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Associates, Inc. v. Summit Group Properties, LLC, 283 Va. 777, 724 S.E.2d 718.
Trial court erred in giving instruction that jury could only find liability of the LLC for fraudulent activity if the conduct was approved by the members of the LLC. If the fraud was committed in the ordinary course of the LLC’s business, then fraudulent acts by one member of the LLC would bind it.

2012 Murayama 1997 Trust v. NISC Holdings, 284 Va. 234, 727 S.E.2d 80.
Court properly sustained demurrer to complaint filed by trust seeking damages relating to a prior settlement agreement entered into relating to previous litigation between parties. Based upon the allegations of the settlement agreement and the nature of the adversarial relationship between the parties, as a matter of law, the trust did not reasonably rely upon any alleged fraudulent omissions or misrepresentations by the defendant.

2010 Abi-Najm v. Concord Condominium, LLC, 280 Va. 350, 699 S.E.2d 483.
Trial Court improperly granted demurrer based upon Economic Loss Rule where plaintiffs had pled duties that gave rise to economic damages that were independent of the agreement between the parties. In this case, the economic losses flowed from a breach of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act and also from fraud in the inducement.

2010 Sales v. Kecoughtan Hous. Co., 279 Va. 475, 690 S.E.2d 91.
Tenant filed suit against apartment owner and management company for personal injury and property damage resulting from mold in the apartment. Plaintiff complained about the presence of mold. Defendants represented that the mold had been remedied. The mold in fact began growing again causing personal injury and property damage to the plaintiff. Plaintiff properly set forth claims of negligent repair and fraud. Trial court improperly granted demurrer to the amended complaint and dismissed the complaint with prejudice. That was error.

2009 Dunn Constr. Co. v. Cloney, 278 Va. 260, 682 S.E.2d 943.
In this action for breach of contract between building contractor and property owner, supreme court determined there was insufficient evidence to permit the jury to find that the builder had committed an act of fraud independent of the contractual relationship such that the property owner could maintain an action both for breach of contract and fraud. Any misrepresentations arose out of the contract and not tort.

2007 Augusta Mut. Ins. Co. v. Mason, 274 Va. 199, 645 S.E.2d 290.
Insurance company filed claim against insurance agent alleging fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. To avoid turning every breach of contract claim into a tort claim the rule has been established that to recover in tort the duty breached must be a common law duty and not one existing between the parties solely by virtue of the contract. In this case, the duties that the insurance agent allegedly violated by making certain false statements arose solely by virtue of the agency agreement and that cannot be a basis for a fraud claim.

2003 Cohn v. Knowledge Connections, Inc., 266 Va. 362, 585 S.E.2d 578.
Employment case where plaintiff alleged actual fraud in regards to hiring process in that employer failed to disclose other employees’ alleged preference not to work with women. Fraud must involve misrepresentation of material existing fact. In this instance, there was no intent to conceal, no evidence that employer knew of this bias and alleged gender bias was a matter of opinion and not a matter of fact.

2003 Klaiber v. Freemason Assocs., 266 Va. 478, 587 S.E.2d 555.
In fraud case, damage to real property measured by difference of actual value of property at time contract was made and value property would have had if the representation was true. Damages in the form of cost of repair or replacement of defective elements of a condominium are not a measure of damages.

2001 Flippo v. CSC Assocs. III, L.L.C., 262 Va. 48, 547 S.E.2d 216.
Fraud requires showing by clear and convincing evidence of intentional and knowing misrepresentation of material fact made with intent to mislead and relied upon by another to his detriment. In this case, member of LLC wrote to two other members making statement regarding proposed changes to operating agreement and that he believed these changes were simply housekeeping items and had no material effect on the agreement, was a mere expression of opinion that could not support fraud claim.

2001 Lambert v. Downtown Garage, Inc., 262 Va. 707, 553 S.E.2d 714.
Purchaser sued seller of automobile for violation of Consumer Protection Act in particular alleging fraud in transaction. Statement by seller that automobile was in excellent condition was opinion in the nature of puffing and was not misrepresentation constituting common-law fraud or violation of Consumer Protection Act. When seller replied in the negative when asked whether vehicle had been seriously damaged or totaled, that again was an opinion not a misrepresentation actionable as fraud at common law or under the Consumer Protection Act, where buyer in this case was knowledgeable about automotive repairs and knew that vehicle had been damaged in an accident. Likewise, seller’s failure to disclose to buyer that car had been damaged in accident and required repairs did not violate Consumer Protection Act where seller did not deliberately conceal material fact from buyer. At common-law concealment, whether accomplished by word or conduct, may be equivalent of a false representation. However, proof of misrepresentation by a non-disclosure requires evidence of a knowing and deliberate decision not to disclose a material fact. That was not proved in this case.

2001 McMillion v. Dryvit Sys., Inc., 262 Va. 463, 552 S.E.2d 364.
Claim for false advertising as to stucco on exterior home was governed by catch-all statute of limitations and was deemed to be time-barred. Plaintiff, on appeal, attempted to argue that manufacturer with superior knowledge of inherent defects in its product and reasonably foreseeable damage resulting from those defects, has duty to disclose such information to the consuming public. That theory, however, had not been pleaded and therefore, cannot be argued on appeal. Plaintiff alleged in this case that manufacturer claimed that with this exterior stucco product, damaging water penetration is avoided and that this product allows necessary water vapor transmission that helps prevent condensation in the wall assembly. Those were not deemed to be statements of present fact and therefore, could not be basis for fraud claim.

2001 Parker-Smith v. Sto Corp., 262 Va. 432, 551 S.E.2d 615.
Party bringing action alleging either actual or constructive fraud must prove that representation was false whereas false advertising occurs when advertisement contains representation that, although deceptive or misleading, is not necessarily false or untrue. In this case, dealing with stucco siding, plaintiff alleged false advertising. In false advertising claim, misrepresentation does not have to relate to a statement of present or existing fact but can be just a promise. In this case, the false advertising claim was governed by the catch-all statute of limitations and was stricken as being time-barred. In determining whether catch-all limitation applies, court must look at nature of cause of action at issue. Cause of action here was false advertising and not fraud.

2001 Yuzefovsky v. St. John’s Wood Apartments, 261 Va. 97, 540 S.E.2d 134.
Tenant alleged criminal assault at or near premises where he resided and that he was induced to enter into lease based on fraudulent statements made by employees of landlord concerning the development being crime free. Tenant had resided at this location for approximately one year, nine months after signing lease and any alleged statements were too remote to give rise to any liability on part of landlord for fraudulent inducement. Duty of landlord’s employees to refrain from making false statements to prospective tenant concerning safety of premises from criminal activity related to contract, that tenant was induced to sign, and not from a common-law duty, thus, barring fraud claim in tort against landlord in connection with subsequent criminal assault on tenant by third party.

2000 Beck v. Smith, 260 Va. 452, 538 S.E.2d 312.
Beck asserts that Smith failed to notify of easement that effected the construction of Beck residence in this real estate purchase transaction. In this case, reliance was held not to be justified where buyer undertook investigation regarding matter at issue. Beck’s settlement attorney would or should have discovered the existence of the easement and that knowledge is imputed to Beck and therefore, there is no justifiable reliance.

1999 ITT Hartford Group, Inc. v. Virginia Fin. Assocs., 258 Va. 193, 520 S.E.2d 355.
Plaintiff (VFA) acted as broker between ITT Hartford and Med Pro Insurance to market an insurance product that was to be jointly marketed between Hartford and Med Pro. The insurance company thereafter offered plaintiff a finders fee but not percentage of premiums. Trial court admitted testimony projecting future income from joint venture between Hartford and Med Pro even though there was no earnings history. This projection of earnings over next seventeen years was in error and was purely speculative. The witness making the economic projections was not an economist, had performed no statistical studies, had consulted no actuaries regarding premium calculations, and had performed no market analysis. There was no fraud in this case. Plaintiff proceeded without clear agreement as to his compensation in order to bring the parties together. Parties agreed that plaintiff would be treated fairly and with trust. These promises and statement about future events were not fraudulent.

1999 Prospect Dev. Co. v. Bershader, 258 Va. 75, 515 S.E.2d 291.
Plaintiffs were purchasers of building lot and new home to be constructed on lot. They were expressly told by builder that adjacent lot was not buildable lot, when in fact, builder knew that it may be buildable lot. Actual fraud must be proved by clear and convincing evidence that there has been false representation of material fact made intentionally and knowingly with intent to mislead with reliance by party mislead and resulting damage to that party. In this case, defendants repeatedly told plaintiffs that percolation tests had been performed on the adjacent lot, that the tests were not successful, that lot was designated as preserved land, and therefore, a house would never be built on that lot. Plaintiffs in this case paid a premium for their lot since it was next to this preserved lot. All of that made out case of actual fraud. Defendants’ statements about percolation tests having been performed and tests having not been successful clearly were neither opinions nor statements about future events.

1998 Richmond Metro. Auth. v. McDevitt Street Bovis, Inc., 256 Va. 553, 507 S.E.2d 344.
In certain circumstances party can show both breach of contract and tortious breach of duty, however, tortious breach must be based on common-law duty, not one existing between parties solely by virtue of contract. Tort action cannot be based on negligent breach of contract. In this construction claim dispute there was no evidence that suggested contractor did not intend to fulfil his contract duties at time he entered into contract. To allow this to proceed as fraud claim would create possibility of turning every breach of contract into claim for fraud.

1998 Norris v. Mitchell, 255 Va. 235, 495 S.E.2d 809.
Plaintiff alleged that defendant intentionally concealed limitations on construction permit. Concealment may be equivalent to false representation. Contracting party’s willful non-disclosure of material fact that he knows is unknown to other party may evince intent to practice actual fraud. In this case there is no allegation of deliberate decision to conceal from purchasers limitations of use noted in construction permit. Construction permit in this case was public document available for inspection. In addition, doctrine of caveat emptor required purchaser to discover defects in property that a reasonable inspection would disclose unless sellers did or said anything to divert them from making inquiries and examination which prudent man ought to make.

1997 Branham v. Branham, 254 Va. 320, 491 S.E.2d 715.
Son took blind mother to notary public to sign deed which she thought would provide her life estate in her home with remainder interest going to daughter who has been taking care of her. In fact, deed conveyed property to son. Commissioner in Chancery found evidence of fraud and set aside deed. Trial court overturned decision of Commissioner in Chancery upon hearing that mother had been subsequently declared incompetent. Decision of Commissioner in Chancery reinstated as evidence of fraud was unrefuted and mother was competent at time of hearing.

1995 Balzer & Assocs. v. The Lakes on 360, Inc., 250 Va. 527, 463 S.E.2d 453.
Fraudulent conveyance action. Existing creditor may seek to avoid transfer of property by debtor under one of two theories: (1) transfer can be alleged to have been made for purposes of delaying, hindering, or defrauding creditors (such transactions are fraudulent acts and are void except against bona fide transferees without knowledge of fraudulent intent); (2) transfer can be alleged to have been made without receipt by debtor of consideration deemed valuable in law while debtor was, or as a result of transfer became, insolvent.

1994 VanDeusen v. Snead, 247 Va. 324, 441 S.E.2d 207.
Concealment of material fact may constitute element of misrepresentation in fraud claim. In this case, seller is alleged to have concealed settlement of home from purchaser.

1994 Price v. Hawkins, 247 Va. 32, 439 S.E.2d 382.
Trial Court properly entered personal judgment against transferees who participated in fraudulent scheme to delay and hinder judgment creditor by concealing debtor’s assets.

1994 Covington v. Skillcorp Publishers, 247 Va. 69, 439 S.E.2d 391.
Fraud action to set aside settlement. Tender of restoration is not a precondition to this right of action.

1994 Evaluation Research Corp. v. Alequin, 247 Va. 143, 439 S.E.2d 387
Fraud alleged in regards to hiring. Plaintiff claimed that he was fraudulently induced to leave his former employment by misrepresentation of nature of this employment. Plaintiff failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that representation was false when made that employer did not hire on contract basis. Because proof of false representation by clear and convincing evidence is necessary element of actual or constructive fraud claim, verdict in this case is not supported by evidence.

1993 Metrocall of Delaware v. Continental Cellular, 246 Va. 365, 437 S.E.2d 189.
Fraud litigation settled. One party subsequently alleged that there were certain facts that were not disclosed as part of the settlement, i.e., negotiations by other party to sell an interest in the business. Concealment of fact that is material to transaction, knowing that other party is acting on assumption that no such fact exists, is as much fraud as if existence of such facts were expressly denied. Critical element of fraud is justifiable reliance. In this case, record clearly showed that there was no justifiable reliance. When negotiating or attempting to negotiate a compromise in an existing controversy over fraud, dishonesty and self dealing, it is unreasonable to rely on the representations of the alleged dishonest party.

1993 Carter v. Williams, 246 Va. 53, 431 S.E.2d 297.
Where draftsman of will holds position of trust or confidence and is made major beneficiary in will, his participation creates presumption of fraud.

1993 Hanson v. Harding, 245 Va. 424, 429 S.E.2d 20.
Presumption of fraud may arise in regards to conveyance of deed where confidential or fiduciary relationship existed between grantor and grantee, consideration was grossly inadequate, and grantor suffered from great weakness of mind. Contestants of this deed presented evidence indicating that grantor intended to leave all his property to all his children. In addition, deed in question was prepared by grantee’s attorney. Notary who notarized deed testified that grantor stated he understood what he was signing. In addition, evidence was that grantor appeared to be mentally alert. Plaintiffs have failed to meet their burden of proving fraud by clear and convincing evidence.

1993 Thompson v. Bacon, 245 Va. 107, 425 S.E.2d 512.
Wet basement case. Seller is alleged to have concealed prior instances of water in basement. Evidence in case contains no evidence connecting seller’s alleged misrepresentation to damage subsequently suffered by purchaser. In addition, there is no evidence that seller knew of any water leakage problem either before or during time he owned house. As such, plaintiff has failed to prove necessary element of fraud as matter of law.

1992 Campbell v. Bettius, 244 Va. 347, 421 S.E.2d 433.
Suit by client against former attorney alleging that attorney misrepresented effect of language in release on rights of client to collect against certain guarantors. This was misrepresentation of present fact, not future fact.

1991 Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. v. Hargraves, 242 Va. 88, 405 S.E.2d 848.
Defendant reported vehicle stolen. Prior to his receiving settlement check from insurance company, he knew vehicle had been recovered, yet he failed to report that. Sufficient evidence presented to raise issue of whether defendant knowingly failed to report the recovery with intent to mislead. Trial court erred in striking Nationwide’s evidence on actual fraud count.

1991 Mika v. Planters Bank & Trust Co., 241 Va. 415, 404 S.E.2d 222.
Bank sued attorney alleging that he improperly obtained cash advances on credit card account. Bank attempted to offer into evidence letter from card holder that no one was authorized to obtain cash advances on this account. That letter was inadmissible into evidence and therefore fraud claim.

1991 Bryant v. Peckenpaugh, 241 Va. 172, 400 S.E.2d 201.
Alleged fraud in real estate transaction wherein tobacco allotment was to be part of the transaction. Court found as matter of law that this alleged misrepresentation was not material and that plaintiff in any event had not relied upon it.

1989 Murray v. Hadid, 238 Va. 722, 385 S.E.2d 898.
Plaintiff must prove damages which are caused by detrimental reliance on defendant’s material misrepresentation. In this case, there was no proof that actual damages were proximately caused by Hadid’s fraud.

1989 Elliott v. Shore Stop, Inc., 238 Va. 237, 384 S.E.2d 752.
Plaintiff must allege misrepresentation of present or pre-existing facts. Claim usually may not be predicated on unfulfilled promises or statements about future events. One exception: may be predicated upon promise made with present intention not to perform.

1989 Oden v. Smith, 237 Va. 525, 379 S.E.2d 346.
Reasonable minds could differ in this case as to when fraud should have been discovered; therefore, jury issue presented.

1989 Boris v. Hill, 237 Va. 160, 375 S.E.2d 716.
Sale of house. Decision does not state whether fraud claim asserted. Caveat emptor rule applies in Virginia. Buyers in this case knew septic tank had been previously pumped even though seller said there was no problem with it, there was a horrible smell in the basement, floor drain was left unplugged, downstairs toilet flushed slowly, they were given unrestricted access to house. Caveat emptor instruction should have been given.

1989 J.F. Toner & Son v. Staunton Prod. Credit, 237 Va. 155, 375 S.E.2d 530.
One year statute of limitations. Plaintiff argues that since they were defrauded out of their property that this is property damage, therefore five year statute. Supreme Court says fraud has no effect on property; property had same form, same value, and was adapted to same uses. Wrongful acts were aimed at persons, not property

1988 Spence v. Griffin, 236 Va. 21, 372 S.E.2d 595.
Itinerant preacher convinced property owner to convey land to preacher for construction of church. No reversionary clause in deed. Church not constructed. Supreme Court found fraud on preacher since concealment of material fact (absence of reversionary clause) by one who knows other party is acting on assumption that fact does not exist constitutes actionable fraud. In fraud cases, fact is material when it influences person to enter into contract, when it deceives him, and induces him to act or when without it transaction would not have occurred. Misrepresentation need not be intentional express verbalization of falsehood.

1988 Patrick v. Summers, 235 Va. 452, 369 S.E.2d 162.
Fraud must relate to present or pre-existing fact and cannot ordinarily be predicated on unfulfilled promises or statements as to future events. In this case, defendant promised to buy plaintiff’s home. There were several factors that suggested defendant had present intention of not performing when he signed agreement. These however did not meet standard of clear and convincing evidence of fraud.

1987 Fox v. Deese, 234 Va. 412, 362 S.E.2d 699.
State of promisor’s mind at time he makes promise is fact and if he represents his state of mind as being one thing when his purpose is to contrary, he misrepresents existing fact.

1987 Cheatle v. Rudd’s Swimming Pool Supply, 234 Va. 207, 360 S.E.2d 828.
Fraud involves intentional, knowing misrepresentation by defendant of material fact upon which plaintiff has relied to his detriment.

1987 Boykin v. Hermitage Realty, 234 Va. 26, 360 S.E.2d 177.
Action based on fraud must allege misrepresentation of present pre-existing fact. Fraud may however be based on promise made with present intention not to perform. State of mind of promisor is fact and if he misrepresents his state of mind he misrepresents existing fact. In this suit by purchasers against real estate agent who misrepresented what would be constructed on adjoining property, court found there was sufficient evidence to justify finding of fraud. Rule of caveat emptor provides no protection to seller who makes false representation of material fact constituting inducement to contract on which buyer had right to rely.

1987 Gilmore v. Basic Indus., 233 Va. 485, 357 S.E.2d 514.
Action for fraud accrues when fraud is discovered or when by exercise of due diligence it ought to have been discovered.

1987 House v. Kirby, 233 Va. 197, 355 S.E.2d 303.
Fraud is purely tort. It involves misrepresentation, detrimentally relied on which occasions a loss. Limitation period is one year.

1986 Payne v. Simmons, 232 Va. 379, 350 S.E.2d 637.
Suit to rescind land conveyance. Grantor alleged he was of diminished mental capacity and that consideration was grossly inadequate. Court found that combined factors of diminished mental capacity and grossly inadequate price discussed above in themselves warrant inference of constructive fraud justifying rescission. Nature of appropriate remedy turns on whether transaction is found to be tainted by actual fraud as well. In cases of this kind where transaction is voided because of actual fraud, grantee is not entitled to reimbursement for purchase price or to compensation for improvements he has made.

1986 Pigott v. Moran, 231 Va. 76, 341 S.E.2d 179.
Fraud is tort where wrongful act is aimed at person. In this case one year limitation controlled.

1984 Allen Really Corp. v. Holber, 227 Va. 441, 318 S.E.2d 592.
Plaintiff set forth count entitled “Deceit.” Concealment of material fact by one who knows that other party is acting upon assumption that fact does not exist constitutes actionable fraud.

1984 Winn v. Aleda Constr. Co., 227 Va. 304, 315 S.E.2d 193.
Party charging actual fraud must prove by clear and convincing evidence: false representation of material fact made intentionally and knowingly with intent to mislead, reliance by party misled and resulting damage to that party.

1984 Watson v. Avon St. Center, 226 Va. 614, 311 S.E.2d 795.
Evidence insufficient to make out jury issue of fraud in inducement in sale of warehouse where purchaser had adequate opportunity to inspect prior to closing. Caveat emptor rule applied.

1983 Jones v. Willard, 224 Va. 602, 299 S.E.2d 504.
Judgment of court procured by intrinsic fraud (as by perjury, forged documents, or other incidents of trial related to issues material to judgment) is voidable at any time before judgment is final. Judgment procured by extrinsic fraud (as by conduct which prevents fair submission of controversy to court) is void, and subject to attack at any time.

1982 Sea-Land Serv. v. O’Neal, 224 Va. 343, 297 S.E.2d 647.
Evidence established fraud in inducing plaintiff to resign from her position by promise of employment in another position.

1982 J & D Masonry, Inc. v. Kornegay, 224 Va. 292, 295 S.E.2d 887.
Evidence held insufficient to set aside for fraud or mistake agreement for compensation approved by commission.

1982 Carter v. Carter, 223 Va. 505, 291 S.E.2d 218.<
Fraud or coercion must be proved by clear, cogent and convincing evidence. Mere showing of mother-son relation will not support fraud charge.

1982 Link Assoc. v. Jefferson Std., 223 Va. 479, 291 S.E.2d 212.
Party intending to repudiate contract on grounds of fraud must act within reasonable time and with great punctuality.

1981 American Realty Trust v. Chase Manhattan, 222 Va. 392, 281 S.E.2d 825.
Fraud alleged in this cross claim based on concealment and misrepresentation.

1981 Goodstein v. Allen, 222 Va. 1, 278 S.E.2d 787.
Party alleged that defendant estopped from pleading limitation defense due to fraud.

1981 Strickland v. Simpkins, 221 Va. 730, 273 S.E.2d 539.
Five-year limitation period.

1980 English v. Angel, 221 Va. 243, 269 S.E.2d 366.
Clear and convincing evidence is standard of proof. Plaintiff alleged that defendant misrepresented extent of accounts receivable in course of negotiating sale of business. Jury issue presented.

1980 Community Bank v. Wright, 221 Va. 172, 267 S.E.2d 158.
Allegation of fraud in abstract does not give rise to cause of action; it must be supported by allegation and proof of damages. Defendant alleged she was fraudulently induced to sign note.

1980 Boykins Corp. v. Weldon, Inc., 221 Va. 81, 266 S.E.2d 887.
Defendant installed roof which became leaky. Plaintiff alleged defendant willing to repair roof and also alleged defendant trying to lull plaintiff into inaction. These statements are inconsistent and negate any allegation of fraud.

1979 Armentrout v. French, 220 Va. 458, 258 S.E.2d 519.
Sale of house. Defendant refused to close when they discovered possible defect in septic tank. Plaintiff fraudulently misrepresented condition of septic tank. Verdict for defendant.

1979 Dudley v. Estate Life Ins. Co., 220 Va. 343, 257 S.E.2d 871.
Plaintiff alleged fraudulent inducement by agent to sign insurance contract. Jury issue as to whether agent’s acts attributable to principal.

1979 Ware v. Scott, 220 Va. 317, 257 S.E.2d 855.
Misrepresentation made subsequent to formation of contract may justify action for fraudulent inducement in performance.

1979 Excalibur Ins. Co. v. Speller & Ermlich, 220 Va. 304, 257 S.E.2d 848.
No lapse of time or delay will defeat remedy, provided injured party ignorant of fraud or mistake without fault on his part. This applies to both actual and constructive fraud.

1979 Robberecht v. Maitland Bros., 220 Va. 109, 255 S.E.2d 682.
Fraud in inducement of contract. Parol evidence may be used to prove such; if such is proved then contract can be rescinded and then there can be action for damages. Elements: (1) false representation of material facts; (2) defendant knew of falsity; (3) defendant made them for express purpose of inducing plaintiff; and (4) reliance by plaintiff.

1979 Henry v. R.K. Chevrolet, Inc., 219 Va. 1011, 254 S.E.2d 66.
Oral misrepresentation by car salesman. Violation of Va. Code § 18-2-216 is not only criminal offense, but also gives rise to action for damages and reasonable attorney’s fees under Va. Code § 59.1-68.3. Virginia Code § 18.2-216 does not cover oral misrepresentations but only nonoral advertisements.

1979 Rockingham Mut. Ins. Co. v. Hummel, 219 Va. 803, 250 S.E.2d 774.
Husband filed claim against insurance company after intentionally setting fire to insured property held as tenant by entirety with wife. Wife innocent of any wrongdoing; still she could not collect. If either spouse violated duty not to defraud insurer, breach was chargeable to “named insured” preventing either spouse from recovering any amount under policy.

1978 Jordan v. Sauve, 219 Va. 448, 247 S.E.2d 739.
Defendant represented to plaintiff that she was purchasing new car; later discovered that car had earlier been sold by defendant and returned to it by original purchaser. Question on appeal regards issue of punitive damages. Jury could have found that defendant’s misconduct was of such reckless and negligent character as to evince conscious disregard of plaintiff’s rights. This being possible conclusion, it made issue of punitive damages one for jury under proper instructions. There must be showing of actual malice.

1977 Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. v. Muncy, 217 Va. 916, 234 S.E.2d 70.
Whether ground is mutual mistake or fraud, party seeking to set aside release of claims has burden of proving by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that release should be set aside. Releasor had duty, ability, and opportunity to read release before signing it. Evidence showed unilateral, not mutual mistake, insufficient for rescission of release. Fraud not shown.

1976 Erlich v. Hendrick Constr. Co., 217 Va. 108, 225 S.E.2d 665.
Fraud must be proved by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence. Construction contract case: contractor alleged fraud on part of owner who did not inform him of soil studies and high water table.

1976 Matney v. Cedarland Farm, 216 Va. 932, 224 S.E.2d 162.
Deed conveying property to plaintiff identified land by number, block and lot and not by metes and bounds. Description adequate. No fraud.

1969 Piedmont Trust Bank v. Aetna, 210 Va. 396, 171 S.E.2d 264.
Fraud cannot be predicated on what amounts to expression of opinion. To establish fraud plaintiff must show that he relied on acts and statements of other. But if he has made his own investigation, complete or not, then normally no basis for fraud.

1967 Homer v. Ahern, 207 Va. 860, 153 S.E.2d 216.
Contract for purchase of real property. Defendant, as required, obtained termite certificate. First one obtained allegedly showed termite damage; second certificate showed infestation only. Allegation of fraud and deceit not demurrable. Moreover, purchaser not bound to discover condition, where vendor acts to throw purchaser off guard and forestall investigation. As general rule, one complaining of fraud may either rescind what was done as result thereof or affirm action and sue for damages.

1962 Harris v. Dunham, 203 Va. 760, 127 S.E.2d 65.
Reliance upon false representation is essential element. Plaintiff had full opportunity to investigate but chose to make only partial investigation. He was bound by all that full investigation would have disclosed.

1961 Corbett v. Bonney, 202 Va. 933, 121 S.E.2d 476.
Plaintiff signed release in personal injury case and now tries to have it set aside based on fraud in inducement. Fraud must be established by clear and convincing evidence.

1957 B-W Acceptance Corp. v. Crump Co., 199 Va. 312, 99 S.E.2d 606.
Where one relies on false representation he may recover his damages whether representation was knowingly or innocently made. Misrepresentation innocently made constitutes constructive fraud.

1957 Murphy v. McIntosh, 199 Va. 254, 99 S.E.2d 585.
Representation made that house was free of termites when in fact it was not. This constituted fraud justifying rescission of contract. This was not simply expression of opinion.

1957 DeJarnette v. Brooks Lumber Co., 199 Va. 18, 97 S.E.2d 750.
Alleged fraud was found to be merely opinion not constituting actual or constructive fraud. Statement as to how much lumber would be yielded from land was expression of opinion.

1956 Progressive Realty Corp. v. Meador, 197 Va. 807, 91 S.E.2d 645.
Plaintiff alleged fraud in inducement of purchase of real property. Action is one for direct damages to property: action survives. Five-year, not one-year limitation prescribed by Va. Code § 8.24 [now § 8.01-243] applied.

1956 Humphreys v. Baird, 197 Va. 667, 90 S.E.2d 796.
Plaintiff loaned defendant money and married him on his representation that he had obtained divorce from his third wife. Under relation of trust existing between parties, defendant’s false statements were actionable.

1955 Poe v. Voss, 196 Va. 821, 86 S.E.2d 47.
Fraud cannot be predicated on mere expression of opinion. Defective furnace: real estate agent allegedly misrepresented condition. Buyer had ample opportunity to inspect. Verdict for defendant.

1952 Martin v. Williams, 194 Va. 437, 73 S.E.2d 355.
Fraud must be expressly charged and must be proven by evidence that is clear, cogent, and convincing. Plaintiff alleged signature was either forgery or was fraudulently induced. Verdict for defendant.

1952 Ciarochi v. Ciarochi, 194 Va. 313, 73 S.E.2d 402.
Where fraud is alleged, pleadings must show specifically elements of.

1951 Alexander v. Kuykendall, 192 Va. 8, 63 S.E.2d 746.<
To establish cause of action for fraud plaintiff must establish reliance on false statement. Plaintiff relied on false representations of defendant to contract for what she believed to be valid marriage. She is entitled to recover damages for fraud.

1951 French v. Beville, 191 Va. 842, 62 S.E.2d 883.
Will contest. Fraud is seldom, if ever, provable by direct testimony but usually must be shown by circumstances. While fraud may be shown by circumstantial evidence, it must have logical and substantial basis and cannot rest upon vague suspicion and surmise.

1950 Ballard v. Cox, 191 Va. 654, 62 S.E.2d 1.
Fraud is not to be presumed but must be proved by clear and convincing evidence.

1950 Grimes v. Peoples Nat’l Bank, 191 Va. 505, 62 S.E.2d 22.
Defendant’s incompetent sold land to plaintiff that he did not own. Evidence disclosed deed, admission that incompetent did not own property, and other circumstances that made out prima facie case, placed upon defendant obligation to make explanation. Trial court in error granting motion to strike plaintiff’s evidence.

1950 Fensom v. Rabb, 190 Va. 788, 58 S.E.2d 18.
Where fraud is alleged as inducement to business deal, it must be established by clear and convincing evidence. Defendant sold business to plaintiff. Assets included “good will.” After sale two primary clients ceased dealing with new owner.

1949 Henning v. Kyle, 190 Va. 247, 56 S.E.2d 67.
Fraud in real estate transaction will not be found to exist where there is merely “puffing” or “dealer’s talk.” There must be misrepresentation of fact and not simply statements of opinion.

1949 Masche v. Nichols, 188 Va. 857, 51 S.E.2d 144.
To set aside contract on basis of fraud, fraud must be clearly established by direct or circumstantial evidence. Plaintiff alleged fraud as to whether water well was on purchased property. No fraud found.

1947 Rudlin v. Parker, 186 Va. 647, 43 S.E.2d 918.
To sustain defense based on fraud or other unlawful act, more evidence is required to create preponderance than in ordinary civil case. This is because one is presumed innocent.

1947 Nuttall v. Lankford, 186 Va. 532, 43 S.E.2d 37.
Charge of fraud must be clearly proved.

1946 Malbon v. Davis, 185 Va. 748, 40 S.E.2d 183.
Suit to annul deed of sale. To sustain finding of fraud there must be clear and convincing evidence.

1946 Westover Ct. Corp. v. Eley, 185 Va. 718, 40 S.E.2d 177.
In this action for fraud resulting in property damage, statute of limitations was five years. Elements of action for fraud: (1) misrepresentation made by defendant; (2) induced plaintiff to reasonably believe them; (3) they were meant to be acted on; (4) plaintiff believing them to be true, acted on them; (5) damages sustained as result thereof.

1946 Ashby v. Red Jacket Coal Corp., 185 Va. 202, 38 S.E.2d 436.
Fraud must be proven by clear and convincing evidence.

1945 Jacobs v. Jacobs, 184 Va. 281, 35 S.E.2d 119.
Fraud must be strictly and clearly proved.

1945 Porter v. Frost, 183 Va. 549, 32 S.E.2d 687.
Fraud must be proven by clear and satisfactory evidence.

1944 Douglas v. United Co., 183 Va. 263, 31 S.E.2d 889.
Fraud must be established by clear and convincing evidence. Detinue action.

1944 Cook v. Hoyden, 183 Va. 203, 31 S.E.2d 625.
He who alleges fraud must clearly and distinctly prove it to set aside deed.

1944 Costello v. Larsen, 182 Va. 567, 29 S.E.2d 856.
This action dealt with sale of real estate. Alleged fraudulent statements were in fact merely expressions of opinion as to things to take place in future and thus were not fraudulent.

1944 Lambert v. B.F. Corp., 182 Va. 477, 29 S.E.2d 383.
Debtor conveying his property to another with intent to defraud his creditors will not be allowed to allege fraud for purpose of avoiding transfer.

1943 Jefferson Std. Ins. Co. v. Hedrick, 181 Va. 824, 27 S.E.2d 198.
Deception by agent that prompts reliance and results in damages is actionable whether representation is made knowingly or innocently.

1943 Ramey v. Ramey, 181 Va. 377, 25 S.E.2d 264.
Where fraud is asserted as defense, evidence of it must be clear and convincing.

1943 Gray v. McCormick, 181 Va. 52, 23 S.E.2d 803.
When transactions between insolvent husband and wife are challenged, burden is on wife to show that they were made in good faith and not in fraud of creditors.

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