Common law fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, and theft of business opportunity represent fundamentally dishonest practices that can take place within a business setting. Conduct falling within this realm is not to be taken lightly; transgressions may trigger enormous financial and economic consequences.

Common Law Fraud: Framed in general terms, common law fraud arises in the context of a situation where a wrongdoer makes a materially misleading statement in bad faith, with the victim relying on that statement to his or her detriment.

Negligent Misrepresentation: As suggested by the verbiage itself, this type of misconduct does not rest on a determination that the wrongdoer possessed an intent to mislead the victim at the time he or she communicated the words in question. Generally speaking, the underlying evidence will be deemed sufficient so long as the defendant carelessly articulated an untrue or misleading statement, which may take place, for example, when an important caveat or qualification has been omitted through oversight.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty: A fiduciary duty relationship exists when someone maintains a concrete obligation to act in the interests of another, while maintaining an obligation to protect and promote the interests of that individual. A fiduciary is obligated by law to act with utmost loyalty toward the person who stands to benefit from that fiduciary relationship. The relationship between a trustee and a beneficiary serves as a classic example of a relationship that is fiduciary in nature.

Theft of Business Opportunity: In some settings, an individual working on behalf of an employer is required to apprise the employer of the business opportunities that become available. If the employee exhibits dishonesty by concealing the pertinent information – and then puts it to use by utilizing it so as to advance his or her own financial interests, liability may be triggered pursuant to theft of business opportunity principles.

If you have been harmed by any type of conduct that is similar to the foregoing, call Chris Bebel for a free consultation.