Kannavos v. Annino

356 Mass. 42, 247 N.E.2d 708 (1969)

 

RULE:

If a party peaks with reference to a given point of information, he is bound to speak honestly and to divulge all the material facts bearing upon the point. Fragmentary information may be as misleading as active misrepresentation, and half-truths may be as actionable as whole lies. 

FACTS:

Bills in equity were brought in the lower court by plaintiffs, vendees of real estate, against the defendant vendors to rescind real estate purchases alleging reliance on the vendors' fraudulent misrepresentations and concealment of material facts. The court held that reliance on fraudulent representations did not bar rescission of the purchases merely because plaintiffs did not use due diligence when they could readily have ascertained from public records the true facts.

ISSUE:

Did the conduct of the defendant vendors entitle the plaintiff vendees to rescind?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

Reliance on fraudulent representations did not bar rescission of the purchases merely because plaintiffs did not use due diligence when they could readily have ascertained from public records the true facts. Defendants were found responsible for misrepresentation in real estate sales and the overruling of demurrers was affirmed.

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