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Judd v. Walker

Supreme Court of Missouri
215 Mo. 312 (1908)


Bourland was an agent for Judd (plaintiff). Bourland traveled from Massachusetts to Illinois to purchase two tracts of land from Naxera (defendant) for over $1,000. Judd and Bourland were not familiar with the lands in the area. Walker (defendant), acting as an agent on Naxera’s behalf, told Bourland that the land for sale was in an irregular shape. Walker told Bourland that one tract contained 80 acres and that the second tract contained 98 acres. Walker and Naxera knew that Naxera did not own 178 acres of land. Nevertheless, Walker drew up a deed, executed by Naxera, purporting to convey 178 acres of land to Judd. Judd later surveyed the land and learned that he had received approximately 153 acres. Judd sued Walker for fraud. After trial, the trial court instructed the jury to find for Walker and Naxera. Further, the trial court denied Judd’s motions to set aside the verdict and for a new trial. Judd appealed. The court of appeals reversed and held that Walker and Naxera committed fraud by making false representations of material facts concerning the conveyed land’s acreage. Additionally, the appellate court found that Judd, through Bourland, relied upon Walker’s false assertions without knowledge of the true acreage being conveyed to Judd. The Supreme Court of Missouri granted certiorari.

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Holding and Reasoning (Lamm, J.)

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