Wolstenholme v. Hygienic Exterminating Co., Inc

In Wolstenholme v. Hygienic Exterminating Co., Inc., 1988 WL 77655, (Del.Super.Ct. July 5, 1988) the court explained the requirements of Fraudulent Misrepresentation as follows: "fraudulent misprepresentation requires the plaintiffs to demonstrate 'that: defendant made a substantial, material misrepresentation respecting the transaction; The representation must be false; The defendant must have known the representation was false when he made it; The defendant made the representation with the intention of inducing the plaintiffs to act upon it; andThe plaintiffs did act in reliance on the statement and were harmed as a result. Nye Odorless Incinerator Corp. v. Felton, Del. Super., 35 Del. 236, 5 W.W. Harr. 236, 162 A. 504 (1931); In re Brandywine Volkswagon, Ltd., Del. Super., 306 A.2d 24; Lock v. Schreppler, 426 A.2d at 861. "Plaintiffs must demonstrate that defendant took some action affirmative in nature designed or intended to prevent, and which does prevent, the discovery of facts giving rise to the fraud claim, some artifice to prevent knowledge of the facts or some representation intended to exclude suspicion and prevent inquiry. Nardo v. Guido DeAscanis & Sons, Inc., Del. Super., 254 A.2d 254 (1969)." Lock v. Schreppler, supra. In fraudulent misrepresentation, the statement relied upon must be false. In a fraudulent concealment case in which the "affirmative act" is a statement, it may or may not be false, but must be: designed or intended to prevent:, and in fact prevent, the discovery of facts giving rise to the fraud claim.