Billie Addleman and Mandy Good recently won an appeal to the Wyoming Supreme Court regarding a fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud claim against their client, a Wyoming realtor. Plaintiff also pleaded claims of loss of enjoyment of life and punitive damages. Hirst Applegate’s client represented the sellers in a real estate deal. Plaintiff was a prior owner of the property at issue, but lost the property through foreclosure. Plaintiff claimed that the realtor owed her a duty of honesty as a prospective purchaser, and that the realtor breached that duty by concealing facts about arrangements to sell the property to another prospective purchaser. Plaintiff also claimed that the other purchaser, who ultimately bought the property, paid inadequate consideration for the property, raising a presumption of fraud. Addleman and Good successfully argued that Plaintiff did not adequately state claims for fraud or conspiracy to commit fraud, as she did not rely on the realtor’s alleged statements to her detriment because the realtor owed no obligation to inform Plaintiff of arrangements with other purchasers and the property owner had a right to dispose of the property to whomever it chose at whatever price it chose. They also argued that Plaintiff suffered no damages as a result of the sale to another purchaser, as Plaintiff had no rights to the property. The Supreme Court agreed, affirming the district court’s grant of summary judgment in Hirst Applegate’s client’s favor. As Plaintiff’s fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud claims failed, the Court ruled that Plaintiff’s loss of enjoyment of life and punitive damages claims must also fail, because they were not independent causes of action.
POSTED BY DAVID D JOHANSEN AT 4:48 PM