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.