Claims For Fraudulent Concealment
Silence or concealment constitutes fraud (fraudulent concealment) when the silent party had an opportunity and a duty to speak. The duty to speak arises whenever a fiduciary relationship is present or whenever the silent party’s non-disclosure contributes to the other party’s misapprehension of a material fact. In a confidential or fiduciary relationship, the dominant party’s silence alone may constitute fraudulent concealment. A fraudulent concealment claim will arise under the umbrella of business fraud.
Elements of Fraudulent Concealment
For fraudulent concealement or misrepresentation, a plaintiff must prove and plead that information was withheld by a fiduciary that had a duty to speak. A plaintiff must also prove and plead the following elements:
(1) a material fact was concealed;
(2) the concealment was intended to induce a false belief, under circumstances creating a duty to speak;
(3) the innocent party could not have discovered the truth through a reasonable inquiry or inspection, or was prevented from making a reasonable inquiry or inspection, and relied on silence as a representation that the fact did not exist;
(4) the concealed information was such that the injured party would have acted differently had he been aware of it;
(5) reliance by the person from whom the fact was concealed led to his injury.