Delaware Chancery Court Rejects Unsupported Fraudulent Inducement Defense

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The Delaware Chancery Court rejected a defendant's fraud in the inducement defense where, at the summary judgment stage, the defendant (a) failed to come forward with specific facts showing that the counterparty knowingly made false statements and (b) did not make a proper showing under Rule 56 as to why additional discovery was warranted.

Plaintiff Corkscrew Mining Ventures, Ltd. sued defendant, Preferred Real Estate Investments, Inc. (PREI), seeking specific performance of an agreement obligating PREI to purchase Corkscrew's remaining 12% interest in a mining quarry business. PREI argued that it was fraudulently induced to enter into that contract because Corkscrew misrepresented facts concerning potential environmental liabilities at the quarry in an earlier but related agreement in which PREI purchased 88% of Corkscrew's interest.

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