Release Of “Unknown” Claim Does Not Bar Release Of “Unaccrued” Claim: Fair Or Unfair?

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A recent opinion maintained that a general release that bars unknown claims does NOT mean a fraud claim will be barred since the last element to prove a fraud had not occurred.

July 15, 2019
David Adelstein - Florida Construction Legal Updates

A general release of “unknown” claims through the effective date of the release does NOT bar “unaccrued” claims. This is especially important when it comes to fraud claims where the facts giving rise to the fraud may have occurred prior to the effective date in the release, but a party did not learn of the fraud until well after the effective date in the release. A recent opinion maintained that a general release that bars unknown claims does NOT mean a fraud claim will be barred since the last element to prove a fraud had not occurred, and thus, the fraud claim had not accrued until after the effective date in the release. See Falsetto v. Liss, Fla. L. Weekly D1340D (Fla. 3d DCA 2019) (“The 2014 [Settlement] Agreement’s plain language released the parties only from “known or unknown” claims, not future or unaccrued claims. Because there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the fraud claim had accrued — that is, whether Falsetto [party to Settlement Agreement] knew or through the exercise of due diligence should have known about the alleged fraud at the time the 2014 Agreement was executed — the trial court erred in granting summary judgment on those fraud claims.”).

Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dma@kirwinnorris.com



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