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15 January, 2016 - 09:32

Remedies will be taken up in Remedies , but it is worth noting the difference between remedies for fraudulent misrepresentation and remedies for nonfraudulent misrepresentation.

Fraudulent misrepresentation has traditionally given the victim the right to rescind the contract promptly (return the parties to the before-contract status)oraffirm it and bring an action for damages caused by the fraud, but not both. 1The UCC (Section 2-721) has rejected the “election of remedies” doctrine; it allows cumulative damages, such that the victim can both return the goods and sue for damages. And this is the modern trend for fraudulent misrepresentation: victims may first seek damages, and if that does not make them whole, they may seek rescission. 2 In egregious cases of fraud where the defendant has undertaken a pattern of such deceit, the rare civil remedy of punitive damages may be awarded against the defendant.

One further note: the burden of proof for fraudulent misrepresentation is that it must be proved not just “by a preponderance of the evidence,” as in the typical civil case, but rather “by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence”; the fact finder must believe the claim of fraud is very probably true. 3


Misrepresentation may be of two types: fraudulent (in the execution or in the inducement) and nonfraudulent (negligent or innocent). Each type has different elements that must be proved, but in general there must be a misstatement of fact by some means that is intentionally made (for fraud), material (for nonfraudulent), and justifiably relied upon.


  1. Distinguish between fraudulent misrepresentation and nonfraudulent misrepresentation, between fraud in the execution and fraud in the inducement, and between negligent and innocent misrepresentation.
  2. List the elements that must be shown to prove the four different types of misrepresentation noted in Exercise 1.
  3. What is the difference between the traditional common-law approach to remedies for fraud and the UCC’s approach?