Marcus v. Fox

In Marcus v. Fox, 150 Ariz. 333, 723 P.2d 682 (Ariz. 1986), the jury found that the plaintiffs were fraudulently induced to enter into a contract to purchase real property. Id. at 683. An Arizona statute provides for attorney's fees to a prevailing party in any contested action "arising out of a contract." ARIZ. REV. STAT. 12-341.01(A). The trial court ruled the statute inapplicable and denied the plaintiffs' request for attorney's fees as the prevailing party to the suit. Id. The intermediate appellate court affirmed. Id. The Arizona Supreme Court reversed, holding that the plaintiffs were entitled to attorney's fees because the cause of action arose out of the real estate contract. Id. at 684-85. The court wrote: It was that contract for the sale of real estate which prompted this suit and also served as the basis for the appellants' claim. Stated otherwise, the appellants' cause of action for tort could not have existed but for the fraudulently induced contract. Accordingly, we find the appellants' action to invalidate the contract was one "arising out of a contract" . . . . Id.