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Doe v. Doe - 122 Md. App. 295, 712 A.2d 132 (1998)

Rule:

Md. R. Civ. P., Cir. Ct. 2-602(b)(1) allows the trial court, if it expressly determines in a written order that there is no just reason for delay, to direct in the order the entry of a final judgment as to one or more but fewer than all of the claims before it. This provision is an exception to the general rule that an order that adjudicates fewer than all of the claims in an action is not a final judgment and therefore is not ripe for appeal. This limited exception is only available on rare occasions to avoid harsh results.

Facts:

Husband filed a complaint for absolute divorce from the wife. He then amended the complaint to add counts for fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), negligent misrepresentation, promissory estoppel, breach of contract, and constructive trust. The wife filed a motion to dismiss those counts. The circuit court granted the wife’s motion. The husband appealed. He claimed that the wife misrepresented that he was the father of their twins and that she dissuaded him from contributing to his 401(k) plan by falsely promising him that he could rely on her stockholdings for his retirement.

Issue:

A) Did the trial court err in dismissing the allegations of fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distresson public policy grounds?

B) Did the trial court err in dismissing the claims alleging negligent misrepresentation, promissory estoppel, breach of contract, and constructive trust as to the wife's stockholdings for failure to state a cause of action?

Answer:

A) Yes; B) No

Conclusion:

The court reversed the entry of judgment against the husband on his claims for fraud and IIED related to the misrepresentation of his paternity and remanded for trial. The court affirmed the entry of judgment against the husband on his claims related to the wife's stockholdings.

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