The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment on their actions for fraudulent inducement, unjust enrichment and to quiet title should not have been granted. Plaintiffs alleged the were overwhelmed by the number of documents to sign and did not realize they documents transferred the property to the defendant:
… [T]he plaintiffs … each averred that the defendant misled them into believing that they were signing documents to arrange a short sale of the property when, in fact, they executed documents that transferred the property to the defendant. One of the documents … was the deed to the property that the plaintiffs signed. The plaintiffs do not aver in their affidavits or in the complaint that they failed to read the documents they signed or that they were illiterate, blind, or did not read English, nor do they allege that they expressed any difficulty in understanding what they were signing … . Instead, the plaintiffs contend that they were “overwhelmed by the paperwork” but do not allege any facts that would suggest that they were prevented from reading the documents prior to signing them or that they were forced to sign … . Holder v Folsom PL Realty, Inc., 2022 NY Slip Op 03890, Second Dept 6-15-22
Practice Point: Here the plaintiffs alleged they signed documents without realizing what they were agreeing to. Those allegations did not support summary judgment on their fraudulent inducement, unjust enrichment and quiet title causes of action. The plaintiffs did not allege they were prevented from reading the documents, or they could not understand the documents.