Brief Fact Summary. Simmons Mfg. Co. (Plaintiff) brought suit against Vulcan Metals Co. (Defendant) after it relied on Defendant’s representations as to the quality of machinery purchased, as well as representations that the machinery had not been put on the market for sale.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. While a plaintiff cannot bring an action for misrepresentation based on an opinion, the line becomes blurred when representations as to the status of the product are also made.
Such statements, like the claims of campaign managers before election, are rather designed to allay the suspicion which would attend their absence than to be understood as having any relation to objective truth.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Whether a plaintiff can recover, in misrepresentation, for statements beyond the quality of a product?
Held. New trial ordered.
* In considering the facts of this case, the court held that Plaintiff could not prevail against Defendant, in misrepresentation, for the claims it made about the quality of the cleaners, but Plaintiff may be able to prevail in its claims against Defendant for its representations that the product had not been put on the market. Those claims were not opinion, but fact, and could be considered misrepresentations.
Discussion. When considering misrepresentation, it is important to distinguish between statements of opinion and fact, in determining whether a defendant can be held liable.