Can a contract be voided for inducement to fraud?

UPDATED: Jan 10, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a contract be voided for inducement to fraud?

I select a contractor based on his ability to deliver a completed home before school year started; he gave an expressed timeframe. It is still under construction. The contract has provisions stating they are not responsible for spoken time commitments. The builder has fired the site manager. I have emails stating the expectations and a letter from a regional manager stating a delivery date. None were met. Can I take them to arbitration and seek contract void and damages?

Asked on January 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A contract can be voided if it is induced by fraud, or material misrepresentations as to what would be done. However, from what you write, there is a written term in the contract disclaiming responsibility for at least some time committments. If it is the case that the contract, by its very terms, prevents you from holding them liable for delays, then you would not have a claim or case, unless you can show the most extreme situation--e.g. not that the home will simply be late, but that it won't be completed at all. Generally, since people are required to review contracts before signing them, if you signed something limiting liabilty, that limitation is enforceable.

On the other hand, if there is no provision in the contract preventing them from being held liable for dates/time frames as expressed in the emails and letter you refer to, then you may in fact be able to take legal action against them, seeking some combination of recission, termination, and/or compensation. Given how much is at stake--presumably several tens of thousands of dollars at least--rather than try to take action yourself, retain an attorney to help you; the first step will be letting the lawyer review the specific language of the contract and of all time-related representations, to evaluate whether you do have a cause of action and, if so, the remedies to which you may be entitled.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption