It is difficult to know if you are making the right decision if you don’t have all the information. This is why it is best not to rush into important choices without taking the time to investigate and learn as much as you can, whether it is buying a new car, getting married or entering a business deal. Fortunately, many important transactions involve the signing of a contract, which outlines the responsibilities and expectations of each side.
As a Nevada business owner, you likely use many kinds of contracts for your business operations. What happens, however, if the person presenting you with a contract includes false or deceptive information in its terms? Do you have legal recourse if the misleading statements cause damage to you or your business?
The elements of fraudulent misrepresentation
A contract that contains fraudulent terms is invalid because you cannot agree to terms of which you are unaware. The trust you place in a contract depends on the accuracy of the information to which you agree when you put your signature on the line. If an employee, contractor, vendor or client presents you with a contract that contains deceptive or false terms designed to entice you into agreement, this is known as fraudulent misrepresentation.
You have the right to seek release from the contract and to seek redress for damages caused by fraudulent misrepresentation. However, you must first prove these elements:
- The contract you signed contained statements of fact.
- The information represented in the statements was false.
- The person who presented you with the contract knew the statements were false or was reckless in failing to verify their veracity.
- The other party expected you to rely on the assumption of truth in the contract.
- You did base your acceptance of the contract on the assumption that the terms were truthful.
- Your business suffered harm because of the misrepresentation.
A successful civil lawsuit will end with a ruling to rescind the contract, releasing you from any responsibilities to which the contract bound you. More importantly, you may be able to reclaim the damages you suffered because of the fraudulent misrepresentation. Determining a fair amount for those damages may require skilled legal advice and resources. You may also benefit from having a legal advocate who will fight for you to receive that fair amount in a judgement.