This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
Fraud as to an essential element of a contract exists where one party thereto intentionally misleads the other as to one of the elements of the contract into which they are entering. A fraudulent representation as to the identity of the subject-matter,1 as where, in addition to false statements as to quality, a tract of land is pointed out which is not the one conveyed,2 or a building which is part of the subject-matter of the sale is said to be on the land which is conveyed when, in fact, it is in part within the limits of the street;3 a fraudulent statement as to the location of a boundary line,4 or as to the character and value of the timber upon a tract of land, even if the vendee did not take advantage of an opportunity to inspect it,5 or as to the identity of one who is given a medical examination for life insurance in place of the real applicant,6 prevents the contract from being valid.
A fraudulent representation as to the existence of the subject-matter,7 such as a fraudulent representation as to the existence of a right of way,8 renders the contract invalid.
5 Williams v. Morris, 99 Ark. 319, 138 S. W. 464.
1 Nelson v. Carlson, 54 Minn. 90, 55 N. W. 821; Carter v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., - Ma - , L. R. A. 1918F, 325, 204 S. W. 399; Jackman v. Northwestern Trust Co., 87 Or. 209, 170 Ac. 304; Starwich v. Ernst, 100 Wash. 198, 170 Ac. 584.
2Mitchell v. McDougal, 62 111. 498; Nellson v. Carlson, 54 Minn. 90, 55 N. W. 821; Nearen v. Bakewell, 110 Mo. 645, 19 S. W. 988; Jackman v. Northwestern Trust Co., 87 Or. 209, 170 Ac. 304.
3 Starwich v. Ernst, 100 Wash. 198, 170 Ac. 584.
4 Brannen v. Brannen, 135 Ga. 590, 69 S. E. 1079.
5 Brannen v. Brannen, 135 Ga. 590, 69 S. E. 1079.
6 Carter v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., - Mo. - , L. R. A. 1918F, 325, 204 8. W. 399.
7 Fisher v. Hurley, - N. J. Eq. - , 100 Atl. 566.
8 Fisher v. Hurley, - N. J. Eq. - , 100 Atl. 566.