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As currently pleaded, Plaintiffs’ fraud claims are insufficient.  The elements of fraud are (1) misrepresentation (false representation, concealment, or nondisclosure), (2) knowledge of falsity (scienter), (3) intent to defraud, i.e., to induce reliance, (4) justifiable reliance, and (5) resulting damage.  (See Lazar v. Superior Court (1996) 12 Cal. 4th 631, 638.)  It is well-settled that fraud claims must be pleaded with particularity; this necessitates pleading facts showing how, when, where, to whom and by what means the alleged misrepresentations were tendered.  (Id. at 645.)  The allegations of Plaintiffs’ second, third and fourth causes of action fail to conform to the foregoing requirements.  

Accordingly, Chicago Title’s demurrer to the second (Fraud), third (Fraud in the Inducement) and fourth (Negligent Misrepresentation) causes of action on the ground of failure to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action is SUSTAINED WITH 10 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND.

Chicago Title’s demurrer to the fifth cause of action (Violation of Unfair Business Practices Act) on the ground of failure to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action is OVERRULED.  Plaintiffs’ claims against Chicago Title are based upon tort and not contract; consequently, the argument asserted by Chicago Title in support of its demurrer relative to this cause of action is inapplicable.

In light of the ruling on Chicago Title’s demurrer, its motion to strike various allegations of the Complaint relating to exemplary and punitive damages and attorney fees is MOOT.

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