The law in California prohibits certain types of practices that attempt to defraud or mislead consumers and others. False advertising, employing methods of price discrimination, predatory lending, amongst other violations can cause companies to be liable for punitive damages and other penalties.
Since anyone can allege that they were the victim of a “fraud,” California law places a heightened pleading standard. “In California, fraud must be pled specifically; general and conclusory allegations do not suffice.” Lazar v. Superior Court (1996) 12 Cal.4th 631, 645. This means that it is “[a] plaintiff’s burden in asserting a fraud claim…[to] ‘allege the names of the persons who made the allegedly fraudulent representations, their authority to speak, to whom they spoke, what they said or wrote, and when it was said or written.’”
Intentional misrepresentation requires the following elements:
- That the defendant represented to plaintiff that a fact was true;
- That defendant’s representation was false
- That defendant knew that the representation was false when he/she made it
- That defendant intended that plaintiff rely on the representation;
- That plaintiff reasonably relied on defendant’s representation;
- That plaintiff was harmed; and
- That plaintiff’s reliance on defendant’s representation was a substantial factor in causing his/her/its harm.
See CACI No. 1900; see, generally, 34A Cal. Jur. 3d Fraud and Deceit § 9.
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Fraud and illegal business practices cases are complicated and there are many challenges within the court system. Your situation is unique, and regardless of the outcome, you deserve the right to enforce your legal rights. Contact an experienced attorney from Thaler Law who can help you understand your legal rights regarding your case and what your next best steps should be. Contact us at 714-869-2900 or online today to schedule a free consultation.