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Tag Archives: Fraud

Tort/Negligence – Malicious Prosecution – Fraud – Store Losses (access required)

Allen v. AutoZone, Inc. Where (1) the plaintiff-employee was in charge of a department in a store that racked up considerable losses; (2) the department’s paperwork was missing, and plaintiff had no explanation as to why; and (3) once duplicate paperwork was located, customers denied making the purchases indicated in plaintiff’s department’s paperwork, then defendant had probable cause to believe plaintiff had perpetrated fraud on defendant. Defendant’s motion for summary judgment is granted as to plaintiff’s claims of malicious prosecution and abuse of process.

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Corporate – Tort/Negligence – Fraud — Investor – Individual Lawsuit – Derivative Shareholder Claim (access required)

Rivers v. Wachovia Corp. An investor who suffered losses in 2007 when his 100,000 shares of Wachovia stock plunged from $56.65 per share price to below $1 cannot bring an individual suit based on defendant corporate officers’ alleged fraud about Wachovia’s financial health; the 4th Circuit says the investor does not qualify for any exception to the general rule that plaintiff must use a derivative shareholder claim for injuries to the corporation.

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Real Property – Tort/Negligence – Fraud – Public Record — Constructive Notice – Question of Fact (access required)

Moseley v. All Things Possible, Inc. There was a recorded plat which showed an underground surface-water drainage easement running diagonally across the entire length of the undeveloped lot at issue; however, the easement did not appear on any deed in the lot’s chain of title, and the defendant-seller - aware of the plaintiff-buyers’ desire to build a home on the lot - presented the buyers with an altered copy of the plat with the easement removed and a square drawn on the plat indicating where a home could be built. The issue of whether the buyers could reasonably rely on the seller’s misrepresentation was one of fact.

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Total damages could top $1 billion in Maryland poisoned-property trial (access required)

A Baltimore County jury has awarded more than $495 million in compensatory damages to residents who sued Exxon Mobil Corp. over a 2006 gasoline leak. At presstime, jurors were still deliberating how much to award plaintiffs in punitive damages. The jury found Exxon Mobil liable for fraud, negligence, nuisance, strict liability, trespass, diminution of property value, emotional distress and medical monitoring. The emotional distress claim included fear of cancer and other serious diseases and fear of loss of property value.

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Checks that don’t check out (access required)

In 22 years of practicing law, Charlotte residential real estate attorney R. Steven Smith had never had anything like it happen to him. Just before Memorial Day, Smith was representing a real estate agent in a closing for a waterfront home in the Charlotte area. The buyer was from Beijing, Smith was told, and moving to Charlotte to take a position in the information technology department of a local bank.

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Real Property – Mortgages – Foreclosure – Tenants in Common – Fraud – Forgery – Equity (access required)

Bank of New York v. Salone Defendant Randolph was a completely innocent party who found herself ensnarled in a mortgage foreclosure action through no fault of her own; instead, it was due to a forgery committed (apparently at the behest of her tenant-in-common) as a result of the plaintiff-bank's failure to use due diligence in ensuring that the party signing the mortgage documents was, in fact, Randolph. Furthermore, it is the unappealed law of the case that Randolph would be harmed more if the bank were allowed to foreclose than if her brother remained her tenant-in-common. We affirm the trial court's order granting Randolph's motion for voluntary nonsuit.

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