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SIGAFUS V. PORTER, 179 U. S. 116 (1900)

U.S. Supreme Court

Sigafus v. Porter, 179 U.S. 116 (1900)

Sigafus v. Porter

No. 8

Argued November 15-16, 1899

Decided October 29, 1900

179 U.S. 116


The defendant in the court below moved to dismiss this case on the ground that the contract in relation to the property in question was with Griffith alone, and, that motion being denied, proceeded to offer evidence. Held that he could not assign the refusal to dismiss as error.

In Smith v. Bolles, 132 U. S. 125, it was held that

"in an action in the nature of an action on the case to recover from the defendant damages which the plaintiff has suffered by reason of the purchase of stock in a corporation which he was induced to purchase on the faith of false and fraudulent representations made to him by the defendant, the measure of damages is the loss which the plaintiff sustained by reason of those representations, such as the money which he paid out and interest, and all outlays legitimately attributable to the defendant's fraudulent conduct, but it does not include the expected fruits of an unrealized speculation, and further that, in applying the general rule that 'the damage to be recovered must always be the natural and proximate consequence of the act complained of,' those results are to be considered proximate which the wrongdoer, from his position, must have contemplated as the probable consequence of his fraud or breach of contract."

In this case, that decision is affirmed and applied to the facts and issues here, and it is held that, upon the assumption that the property was not worth what the plaintiffs agreed to give for it, they were entitled, a verdict being rendered in their favor, and if the evidence sustained the allegation of false and fraudulent representations upon which they relied and were entitled to rely, to have a verdict and judgment representing in damages the difference between the real value of the property at the date of its sale to the plaintiffs and the price paid for it, with interest from that date, and, in addition, such outlays as were legitimately attributable to the defendant's conduct, but not damages covering "the expected fruits of an unrealized speculation."

The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.

Page 179 U. S. 117

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