If someone used deception to lure you into a harmful business transaction, it will be important for you to work with a lawyer who will explore all of your available legal remedies. Your options may go beyond a breach of contract claim. You may be able to pursue a fraud claim as well.
If you have been victimized by deceptive business practices, the Huntsville business fraud lawyers of Morris, King & Hodge can help. Through the years, our firm has obtained more than $20 million in verdicts on behalf of fraud victims, including individuals and companies.
In fact, according to The Alabama Jury Verdict Reporter, Year in Review 2013, Twelfth Edition, attorney David J. Hodge has obtained two of the top 20 fraud verdicts for the state in the past 11 years:
To learn more, call our North Alabama law office today or contact us online. We can conduct a free, comprehensive review of your case and map out a strategy for seeking justice for you.
Fraud can occur in many business transactions. Typically, it arises when deception is used to induce you to enter a contract for goods, services or property. This is why business fraud is often called “fraudulent inducement.”
Alabama law recognizes two general types of fraud claims:
The first type is fraud through misrepresentation. You may be a victim of this misconduct if a party knowingly misrepresented a “material fact,” and you reasonably relied upon that misrepresentation to your detriment by entering into a transaction with that party.
A good example is a developer who convinces you to buy a lot in a new shopping center by telling you that the center will be anchored by a major chain store – even though the developer knows that no chain store can be found for the center. The chain store is a “material fact.” You reasonably rely on the developer’s representation and buy the lot. Because no chain store ever locates in the center, however, you end up suffering a significant financial loss.
The second type is fraud through concealment. You may be a victim of this type of fraud if the other party has a duty to disclose certain facts to you based on your relationship or the circumstances surrounding a transaction. However, the party hides or fails to disclose those facts to you. As a result, you enter a transaction that you otherwise would have avoided.
Building on the above example, a real estate agent may perpetrate fraud through concealment if the agent knows that no chain store will be found for the shopping center and fails to inform you of this fact as you negotiate the lot purchase.
If you have been wronged in a business transaction, the role of the commercial litigation attorneys of Morris, King & Hodge would be to carefully review your claim and sort through all of your potential legal remedies.
In some cases, you may be limited to suing the other party for breach of contract. However, if the party used deception by misrepresentation or by concealment in order to get you to enter the contract, a fraud claim may likely be pursued.
In many cases, you may be able to pursue both contract and fraud claims.
The breach of contract could be established by looking at the actual terms of a contract and whether those terms were fulfilled. Fraud, on the other hand, could be established by examining offer sheets, proposals and business correspondence (letters, e-mails and texts) that were exchanged prior to the date that you signed the contract.
There are many reasons why pursuing a fraud claim may be in your best interests. In particular, you may be able to seek punitive damages in a fraud lawsuit – also called a “business tort.”
Punitive damages typically are not available in contract claims. These damages can be significantly higher than actual damages. They also serve an important purpose by punishing and deterring deceptive business practices.
The lawyers of Morris, King & Hodge have an extensive background in handling fraud cases in Huntsville and across Alabama. With our experience in business fraud litigation, we are able to handle claims that arise in a wide variety of situations.
We work efficiently and effectively. Our goal will be to resolve your fraud case in as timely of a manner as possible so you can move ahead with your business. Although many cases can be resolved through mediation and negotiation, we will always be prepared to go to court.
Simply contact us today and allow us to get started on your case.