Silence Alone Does Not Generally Constitute Fraud In a Business Transaction

In Mitchell v. Skubiak, 248 Ill. App. 3d 1000, 1005, 618 N.E.2d 1013, 188 Ill. Dec. 443 (1993), the appellate court held that, while silence alone does not generally constitute fraud in a business transaction, "silence accompanied by deceptive conduct or suppression of material facts results in active concealment and it then becomes the duty of a person to speak." Accordingly, the court held that the defendant sellers of a residential home had a duty to disclose that faulty repairs had been made to the roof--the whole truth--when they explained cracks in the ceiling as caused by changes in humidity and temperature--a partial truth. Mitchell, 248 Ill. App. 3d at 1005-06.