When a written contract becomes the basis of litigation, the general rule is that promises or representations made prior to the execution of the contract are not considered if they were not included in the written contract. An exception to this general rule applies when a party alleges that a promise or representation amounts to “fraud in the inducement.” A claim of fraud in the inducement can be made by a plaintiff filing a lawsuit or by a defendant as a defense in a breach of contract lawsuit. Our experienced business law attorneys can help you pursue a claim or defend a claim based on fraud in the inducement.
What Is Fraud in the Inducement?
Basic contract law requires a “meeting of the minds” among the parties entering into a contract for the contract to be legally sound and the terms upheld by a court. Moreover, the four corners doctrine that usually applies to written contracts holds that if two parties enter into a written agreement, they cannot use oral or implied agreements in court to contradict the terms of the written agreement. In other words, if it is not part of the written contract, it will not be considered in a dispute. Fraud in the inducement is an important exception to that rule because it effectively negates the required “meeting of the minds.” To prove fraud in the inducement, a party must prove:
- That the defendant made a false statement of material fact.
- That the defendant knew or should have known the statement was false.
- That the defendant made the statement to induce the plaintiff to enter into a contract.
- Plaintiff suffered injury as a result of relying on the misrepresentation.
How Can Our Fraud in the Inducement Business Lawyers Help You?
Whether you believe you were fraudulently induced to enter into a contract or you have been accused of wrongfully inducing another party to enter into a contract, our business lawyers have the experience, skill, and resources to successfully represent you and your interests.
Our goal is to protect your business by aggressively advocating on your behalf when you are the injured party and defending your business if you are named in a lawsuit. Our business law attorneys have the expertise and dedication needed to successfully represent your interests in a lawsuit based on a claim of fraud in the inducement.