Alleged Fraudulent Inducement + Unambiguous Contract = Defense Summary Judgment

A recent opinion by the Third District Court of Appeals adds another arrow to the quiver of those practitioners seeking support for a defense summary judgment in a contract action founded on fraud.  In B & G Aventura, LLC vs. G-Site Limited Partnership, Case No. 3D-11-1562, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D2197a (Fla. 3d DCA Sept. 12, 2012), the plaintiff, a condo purchaser, initially asserted claims seeking return of its deposit and rescission of the contract.  At the crux of the complaint was the developer’s alleged pre-construction/pre-contract statements that the completed condominium would have an unobstructed view of a neighboring marina.  Upon completion of the condominium, the view of the marina was obstructed by an awning.

In opposition to the developer’s motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff advanced legal theories based upon fraudulent indcument and mutual mistake.  Relying upon express contract language that disclaimed oral representations, confined its terms those set forth in the contract, condo documents and brochures, and disclaimed any “guarentee of view,” except as set forth in the contract or condo prospectus, the Court affirmed summary judgment in favor of the developer.  “The purchaser’s claim of fraudulent inducement fails as a matter of law becasue the alleged oral representations ‘are adequately covered or experssly contradicted in a later written contract.”  Id. (citing Hillcrest Pac. Corp. v. Yamamura, 727 So. 2d 1053, 1056 (Fla. 4th DCa 1999)).  The plaintiff’s claim of mutual mistake failed because the plaintiff’s own allegations negated that any such mistake was mutual.

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