Brief Fact Summary.
Plaintiff purchased a home in reliance on defendant’s erroneous representation that there was southerly sideyard of 20 feet. In reality, the home was only 1.8 feet from the property’s boundary line.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
“An innocent misrepresentation may be actionable if the declarant has the means of knowing, out to know, or has the duty of knowing the truth.”
The trier is free to accept or reject, in whole or in part, the testimony offered by either party.View Full Point of Law
Richard (plaintiff) purchased a home from A. Waldman & Sons, Incorporated (“Waldman & Sons”) (defendant). At the time of the sale, Waldman & Sons provided Richard with a plot plan. The plan showed a sideyard that was 20 feet from the southerly boundary of the lot. However, Waldman & Sons had made that representation under a mistaken assumption. Approximately four months later, Waldman & Sons discovered that the foundation of Richard’s home was actually 1.8 feet from the southerly boundary of the lot. Richard was unaware of this fact when he purchased the home. Richard brought suit against Waldman & Sons for misrepresentation.
Whether defendant’s innocent misrepresentation is actionable for misrepresentation?
Yes. Waldman & Sons, as a real estate developer involved in the planning of the home, had the means of knowing the truth about the home’s proximity to the boundary line of the property. The trial court is affirmed.
An innocent representation is actionable if the defendant had the means of knowing, ought to know, or has the duty of knowing the truth. Here, Waldman & Sons was a residential real estate developer and had special knowledge relating to the real estate business. Waldman & Sons was also involved in planning and locating of the house that Richard purchased. Richard has showed sufficient facts to support his claim and demand for damages. The trial court’s finding is supported by the facts found and there was no error in their judgment.