Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff brought suit against Defendant after he bought a farm, based on defendant’s representations that the farm had more timberland than it actually did.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. When a representation is actually an opinion, a plaintiff cannot claim to rely on it in seeking damages, if plaintiff later learns that defendant’s estimate was not exact.
Statements which are vague and indefinite in their nature and terms, or are merely loose, conjectural or exaggerated, go for nothing, though they may not be true, for a man is not justified in placing reliance upon them.View Full Point of Law
Issue. This case considers whether a statement of opinion will hold a defendant liable when a plaintiff relies on it in acquiring land.
* The court, considering the facts of the agreement between Plaintiff and Defendant, found that no fraudulent misrepresentations were made. Defendant opined as to the acreage of timber and burned land, as well as to soil quality. These statements were opinion, and the court found it unfair to hold defendant to the exact value of the land, when the future quality of the land could not be determined at the time of the sale.
Discussion. Statements of opinion are not fraudulent representations in the sense that a plaintiff can recover if an opinion does not meet expectations.