Illinois Supreme Court decision pending
Generally, when someone claims fraudulent misrepresentation it occurs around some type of business. One party to a contract misrepresents the condition of a business or piece of property or some other significant part of the transaction.
A California resident interacted for more than one and a half years online with various personas created by a Batavia (Ill.) woman. The parties met online in a chat room devoted to the HBO show “Deadwood.”
Over several months, the California resident developed a romantic relationship with one of the persona whom she believed to be a real person. She also corresponded about the relationship with some 20 other fictional personas purported to be friends and family of her fictitious “lover.” The California native alleged she sent gifts to her fictitious friend in the amount of $10,000 and spent $4,000 in travel expenses and preparations to move to Colorado to live with her online friend. Subsequently, she claims to have expended more than $5,000 in therapy sessions once the other personas informed her of the death of her paramour.
The Kane County Circuit Court dismissed several complaints but the Second District Court of Appeals reversed the Circuit Court permitting the third complaint alleging only fraudulent misrepresentation to stand. The Batavia woman appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court which heard oral arguments on Wednesday, March 14.