"Can I plead both fraud and breach of contract in suing over a business dispute?" is a question our business litigation clients sometimes ask.
You may be wrongly informed by the Defendant that you as a Plaintiff cannot plead both fraud and contract. Nevertheless, this is incorrect and flouts over forty years of Georgia law:
a. For over four decades Georgia courts have allowed a complaint to contain "as many separate claims against defendants as one may have, regardless of inconsistency. They may be based on legal grounds and equitable grounds, and may arise out of tort and also out of contract." Giordano v Stubbs, 129 Ga. App. 283, 286 (1973).
b. A party may sue under one theory and recover under another if supported by the evidence. See Barnett v. Freeman, 157 Ga. App. 760.
c. An individual's affirmation of a contract that he claimed he was induced to enter by fraud does not bar him from seeking damages because the two remedies are coexistent. Atlanta Car Wash, Inc. v. Schwab, 215 Ga. 319, 1959 Ga. LEXIS 463 Ga., September 11, 1959, decided.
d. It has been well established for decades in Georgia law that the Plaintiff can plead alternative theories of both breach of contract and fraud and is entitled to pursue inconsistent remedies until judgment. Accord Larkins, Ga. Contracts §3-18.
Consequently, there is no doubt: Georgia law absolutely permits Plaintiff to plead both fraud and breach of contract. Thus, even though these are two inconsistent remedies, as a matter of legal strategy a good business lawyer may utilize both causes of action in an effective legal pleading.
Contact Williams Oinonen LLC today for further legal consultation about your business dispute at 404-654-0288.