“[T]he elements of a cause of action for fraud based on concealment are:
(Kaldenbach v. Mutual of Omaha Life Ins. Co. (2009) 178 Cal.App.4th 830, 850, 100 Cal.Rptr.3d 637; Bigler-Engler v. Breg, Inc. (2017) 7 Cal.App.5th 276, 310–311; Hambridge v. Healthcare Partners Medical Group, Inc. (2015) 238 Cal.App.4th 124, 162.)
Fraud must be pleaded with specificity rather than with general and conclusory allegations. (Boschma v. Home Loan Center, Inc. (2011) 198 Cal.App.4th 230, 248.) This means that a plaintiff must plead every element of fraud with specificity (Tarmann v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. (1991) 2 Cal.App.4th 153, 157) and plead facts which show how, when, where, to whom, and by what means the representations were tendered (Hamilton v. Greenwich Investors XXVI, LLC (2011) 195 Cal.App.4th 1602, 1614).
In addition, when a plaintiff is asserting fraud against a corporate defendant, the plaintiff must 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. (Tenet Healthsystem Desert, Inc. v. Blue Cross of California (2016) 245 Cal.App.4th 821, 838.)
Although the general rule states that a fraud claim must be specifically pleaded, less specificity is required if “it appears from the nature of allegations that defendant must necessarily possess full information,” or if the “facts lie more in the knowledge of” opposing parties. (Alfaro v. Community Housing Improvement System & Planning Assn., Inc. (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 1356, 1384.) “[T]he courts should not... seek to absolve the defendant from liability on highly technical requirements of form in pleading. Pleading facts in ordinary and concise language is as permissible in fraud cases as in any others, and liberal construction of the pleading is as much a duty of the court in these as in other cases.” (Appollo Capital Fund, LLC v. Roth Capital Partners, LLC (2007) 158 Cal.App.4th 226, 242.)
The rule of specificity of pleading is intended to apply only to affirmative representations and not to fraud by concealment. (See Alfaro v. Community Housing Improvement System & Planning Assn., Inc. (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 1356, 1384; Jones v. ConocoPhillips (2011) 198 Cal.App.4th 1187, 1200 [concealment is sufficiently pled when the complaint as a whole provides sufficient notice of the claims against defendants].) This requirement is thus harder to apply to cases of nondisclosure because, for instance, it is difficult to show “how” and “by what means” something did not happen. (Id.) Fraudulent concealment is usually proven by reasonable inferences drawn from other facts. (Tenzer v. Superscope, Inc. (1985) 39 Cal.3d 18, 30.) “Every person connected with a fraud is liable for the full amount of the damages. Thus, individuals who are parties to the consummation of a fraud are equally responsible with the person with whom a contract induced by the fraud is made.” (23 Cal.Jur.2d, Fraud and Deceit, § 47, pp. 114-115; Conlin v. Studebaker Bros. Co., 175 Cal. 395, 398 [165 P. 1009].)
There are four circumstances in which nondisclosure or concealment may constitute actionable fraud:
(LiMandri v. Judkins (1997) 52 Cal.App.4th 326, 336.)
“[T]o establish fraud through nondisclosure or concealment of facts, it is necessary to show the defendant ‘was under a legal duty to disclose them.’” (OCM Principal Opportunities Fund v. CIBC World Markets Corp. (2007) 157 Cal.App.4th 835, 845.) “Our Supreme Court has described the necessary relationship giving rise to a duty to disclose as a ‘transaction’ between the plaintiff and defendant.” (Bigler-Engler v. Breg, Inc. (2017) 7 Cal.App.5th 276, 311.) “Such a transaction must necessarily arise from direct dealings between the plaintiff and the defendant; it cannot arise between the defendant the public at large.” (Id.)
Where a fiduciary relationship does not exist between the parties, only the latter three circumstances may apply. (Bigler-Engler v. Breg, Inc. (2017) 7 Cal.App.5th 276, 311.) These three circumstances presuppose the existence of some other relationship between the plaintiff and defendant in which a duty to disclose can arise, such as seller and buyer, employer and prospective employee, doctor and patient, or parties entering into any kind of contractual arrangement. (Id.) “Although, typically, a duty to disclose arises when a defendant owes a fiduciary duty to a plaintiff, a duty to disclose may also arise when a defendant possesses or exerts control over material facts not readily available to the plaintiff.” (Magpali v. Farmers Group, Inc. (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 471, 482, 55 Cal.Rptr.2d 225.) Exclusive knowledge has not been defined literally, but may be met if the defendant had “superior” knowledge of a defect or was in a “superior position of knowledge.” (In re Toyota Motor Corp. Unintended Acceleration Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation (C.D. Cal. 2010) 754 F.Supp.2d 1145, 1192.)
“[M]ere conclusionary allegations that the omissions were intentional and for the purpose of defrauding and deceiving plaintiffs and bringing about the purchase... and that plaintiffs relied on the omissions in making such purchase are insufficient....” (Goodman v. Kennedy (1976) 18 Cal.3d 335, 347.)
“One who willfully deceives another with intent to induce him to alter his position to his injury or risk, is liable for any damages which he thereby suffers.” (Code of Civ. Proc., § 1709.) “In order to recover for fraud, as in any other tort, the plaintiff must plead and prove the “detriment proximately caused” by the defendant's tortious conduct. (Code of Civ. Proc., § 3333.) Deception without resulting loss is not actionable fraud. (Hill v. Wrather (1958) 158 Cal.App.2d 818, 825, 323 P.2d 567.) “Whatever form it takes, the injury or damage must not only be distinctly alleged but its causal connection with the reliance on the representations must be shown.” (Service by Medallion, Inc. v. Clorox Co. (1996) 44 Cal.App.4th 1807, 1818.) In other words, “Reliance is an essential element of a fraudulent concealment claim.” (Sevidal v. Target Corp. (2010) 189 Cal.App.4th 905, 928.) “At the pleading stage, the complaint must show a cause and effect relationship between the fraud and damages sought; otherwise no cause of action is stated.” (Patrick v. Alacer Corp. (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 995, 1017.)
Felipe Gonzalez v. Nissan North America (1) DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT; (2) MOTION TO STRIKE PUNITIVE DAMAGES FROM COMPLAINT MOVING PARTY: (1) & (2) Defendant Nissan North America, Inc. RESPONDING PARTY(S): (1) & (2) Plaintiff Felipe Gonzalez STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS: Plaintiff alleges that there were transmission malfunctions and other defects in the new 2014 Nissan Sentra...
..tive damages is DENIED. Defendant to file an answer within 20 days. DISCUSSION: Demurrer Meet and Confer The Declaration of Attorney Parada K. Ornelas reflects that Plaintiff’s counsel has not responded to Defendant’s meet and confer efforts. This satisfies CCP § 430.41(a)(3)(B). Fourth Cause of Action (Fraudulent Inducement - Concealment) Sufficiency of Facts (CCP § 430.10(e)) and Uncertai...
Oct 10, 2019
Los Angeles County, CA
1. Demurrer to Complaint 2. Motion to Strike Portions Complaint Moving Party: Defendant Nissan North America, Inc. Responding Party: Plaintiff German Orozco and Diana Orozco Motion 1: Demurrer to Complaint. Moving Party Defendant Nissan North America, Inc. Responding Party Plaintiffs German Orozco and Diana Orozco. Opposition filed. Ruling: Nissan’s demurrer to the fourth cause of action for fraud...
..would not have acted as he did if he had known of the concealed fact; and (5) as a result of the concealment of the fact, the plaintiff sustained damage. (Hahn v. Mirda (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th 740, 748.) There are four circumstances in which concealment may constitute actionable fraud: (1) when the defendant is in a fiduciary relationship with the plaintiff; (2) when the defendant had exclusive kno...
Aug 05, 2019
Orange County, CA
The court addresses the evidentiary issues. Defendants/Cross-Complainants/Cross-Defendants DKN Hotel, LLC and S.C. Hotel, LLC's request for judicial notice [ROA 351] is granted. Plaintiff Madfi, LLC's evidentiary objections to evidence submitted by DKN/SC [ROA 498] are all overruled. Madfi's evidentiary objections set forth in Madfi's response to DKN/SC's separate statement are overruled for failu...
..to evidence must be served and filed separately from the other papers in support of or in opposition to the motion"]. DKN/SC's evidentiary objections to evidence submitted by Madfi and CCB&B [ROA 572] are all overruled. Plaintiff Madfi, LLC's evidentiary objections to evidence submitted by Penick [ROA 495] are all overruled. Madfi's evidentiary objections set forth in Madfi's response to Penick'...
Aug 12, 2019
San Diego County, CA
Defendants' Demurrer is OVERRULED, and the Motion to Strike is DENIED. On December 14, 2017, Plaintiff Shahriar Yazdanniaz filed the instant suit against Defendants FCA US LLC (“FCA US”), Orange Coast Auto Group, LLC (“Orange Coast”), and Does 1 through 10. On January 18, 2019, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”). The FAC asserts causes of action for: Breach of Express Warranty – V...
..n. Hahn v. Mirda (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th 740, 747. When considering demurrers, courts read the allegations liberally and in context. (Wilson v. Transit Authority of City of Sacramento (1962) 199 Cal.App.2d 716, 720-21.) In a demurrer proceeding, the defects must be apparent on the face of the pleading or via proper judicial notice. (Donabedian v. Mercury Ins. Co. (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 968, 994.) “...
Apr 19, 2019
Los Angeles County, CA
DEMURRER OVERRULED; MOTION TO STRIKE DENIED Background On April 17, 2019, Plaintiffs Adolfo Flores and Olga Flores filed the instant action against Defendant Kia Motors America, Inc. and Does 1 through 10. The Complaint asserts causes of action for: Violation of Song-Beverly Act – Breach of Express Warranty; Violation of Song-Beverly Act – Breach of Implied Warranty; Violation of Song-Beverly...
..cramento (1962) 199 Cal.App.2d 716, 720-21.) In a demurrer proceeding, the defects must be apparent on the face of the pleading or via proper judicial notice. (Donabedian v. Mercury Ins. Co. (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 968, 994.) “A demurrer tests the pleading alone, and not on the evidence or facts alleged.” (E-Fab, Inc. v. Accountants, Inc. Servs. (2007) 153 Cal.App.4th 1308, 1315.) As such, the cour...
Sep 30, 2019
Los Angeles County, CA
Edith h. cartini & jorge s. cartini, Plaintiffs, v. NISSAN NORTH AMERICA, INC., et. al. Defendants. Case No.: 19STCV11927 Hearing Date: September 11, 2019 [TENTATIVE] order RE: demurrer to Complaint BACKGROUND Plaintiffs Edith H. Cartini and Jorge S. Cartini (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) commenced this lemon law action against Defendant Nissan North America, Inc. (“Nissan”) on April 4, 2019....
..actual allegations or the plaintiff's ability to prove those allegations. (Picton v. Anderson Union High Sch. Dist. (1996) 50 Cal. App. 4th 726, 732.) The court must treat as true all the complaint's material factual allegations, but not contentions, deductions or conclusions of fact or law. (Id. at 732-33.) The complaint is to be construed liberally to determine whether a cause of action has been...
Sep 11, 2019
Los Angeles County, CA
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Mar 04, 2020
Placer County, CA
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