Affirms trial court with respect to rescission and consequential damages against appellants regarding deception in a real estate transaction

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UNPUBLISHED
Appellants Michael Glant and Eileen Glant (collectively, “the Glants”) appeal an order of the Marion Superior Court providing that they are liable for attorney’s fees attributable to deception in a real estate transaction with Thomas Bovis and Elizabeth Vogel-Bovis (collectively, “the Bovises”).

The Glants present six issues for review, which we consolidate and restate as the following issue: Whether there is sufficient evidence to establish that the Glants, acting with intent to defraud, misrepresented property as suitable for a building site, so as to establish a deception claim under Indiana Code Section 35-43-5-3 and support the award of statutory attorney’s fees for a crime victim.
Conclusion (slip op. at 9):  The order for rescission and consequential damages is affirmed; the order for attorney’s fees is reversed.
Key Analysis (slip op. at 8, 9):  Even if the Glants made technically false representations, there is a dearth of evidence that they knew the representations to be false. Moreover, the CVA contemplates an award of attorney’s fees only when the claimant has suffered pecuniary loss “as a result of” a violation of one of the enumerated statutes . . . the Bovises’ failure to insist on current soil tests, by merely checking an appropriate box on a pre-printed real estate form, is a contributing cause of their own injuries, [thus] the trial court erroneously awarded attorney’s fees to the Bovises under the CVA.

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Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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