P. MICHAEL HUDDLESTON v. KENNETH L. HARPER ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jun 30, 2015

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

James S. MacDonald, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, P. Michael Huddleston.

Attorneys 2:

Lewis S. Howard, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Kenneth L. Harper and Jerry L. Hurst.

Judge(s): SUSANO

P. Michael Huddleston (Plaintiff) brought this action against his former business partner, Kenneth L. Harper, and also against Jerry L. Hurst, the person to whom Plaintiff sold his one-half interest in the partnership. Plaintiff alleged that the primary asset of the partnership is a large building in Maryville, and that Defendants fraudulently concealed the fact that partnership had filed an insurance claim for damage to the building?s roof. The insurance claim was an asset that turned out to be worth over one million dollars. The insurance company paid this amount to the partnership shortly after Plaintiff sold his interest. Plaintiff claimed that Defendants fraudulently represented that the value of the building was about a million dollars less than its actual value because of the damage to the roof. As a consequence, Plaintiff alleged that he was fraudulently induced to sell his one-half interest for substantially less than its actual value. Plaintiff also alleged that partner Harper fraudulently endorsed Plaintiff?s name to a check from the insurance company without his permission, and that the Defendants committed promissory fraud by inducing Plaintiff to endorse a second insurance check with the promise “to make things right with” him. The trial court granted summary judgment to Defendants, finding that they “negated essential elements of the plaintiff?s claims with respect to whether there was a failure to disclose or whether there [were] misrepresentations with respect to what was disclosed.” Finding genuine issues of material fact in dispute, we vacate the trial court?s grant of summary judgment.