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Riverisland Cold Storage, Inc. v. Fresno-Madera Prod. Credit Ass'n, F058434

By FindLaw Staff on January 04, 2011 11:21 AM
Fraud exception to the parol evidence rule

Riverisland Cold Storage, Inc. v. Fresno-Madera Prod. Credit Ass'n, F058434, concerned plaintiffs' suit against defendant-creditor alleging causes of action for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, rescission, and reformation, arising from a breach of a written forbearance agreement.  In reversing the trial court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment, the court held that, because plaintiffs' evidence of misrepresentations fell within the fraud exception to the parol evidence rule, the evidence should have been admitted to raise a triable issue of material fact in opposition to defendant's motion.

As the court wrote:  "We conclude that the Pendergrass court did not intend its limitation on the fraud exception to the parol evidence rule to extend beyond evidence of promissory fraud.  Like the Greene court, we decline to apply its limits where the party seeking admission of the parol evidence has alleged that the other party misrepresented the content of the written contract and thereby induced execution of the contract.  Plaintiffs' extrinsic evidence of the alleged misrepresentations made by defendant's representative should have been admitted in opposition to defendant's motion for summary judgment."

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