Yet Another Reminder that Tort and Contract Don’t Mix

Businesswoman signing document

This case continues the long legal history in Virginia that with few exceptions, where a contract exists fraud will not be an available cause of action.

January 25, 2021
Christopher G. Hill - Construction Law Musings

I have stated on numerous occasions here at Musings that in Virginia, contract claims and tort claims (read fraud) don’t mix. A recent case from the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia presents another example of this principle. In Itility LLC v. The Staffing Resource Group, Judge Ellis of the Alexandria Division, considered ITility’s claims of fraud and breach of contract against SRG and one of its officers based upon SRG’s alleged violation of its duties under a teaming agreement. The claim by ITility was that TSRG provided false and misleading resumes and thus damaged ITility. SRG filed a Motion to Dismiss and the Court was therefore required to resolve the following issues: (1) whether plaintiff’s fraud claim is barred by Virginia’s “source of duty” rule; (2) whether plaintiff’s claim for tortious interference with a business expectancy is barred by SRG’s participation in the business expectancy, and (3) whether the teaming agreement between the parties bars plaintiff’s claims for consequential and punitive damages.

Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill

Mr. Hill may be contacted at chrisghill@constructionlawva.com

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