Professional Verification Is Not Transferrable

To hold a professional liable for negligent misrepresentation, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant provided the information “to a known party for a known purpose.” McCamish, Martin, Brown & Loeffler v. FE. Appling Interests, 991 S.W.2d 787, 794 (Tex, 1999). The “known party” requirement is satisfied where the professional is “aware of the nonclient and intends that the nonclient rely on the information.” Id. In this case, attorney William Ravkind allegedly filled out a “Verification of Deposit” form stating that he was the depository of two trust accounts belonging to his client. (Ravkind claimed his signature was forged.) Bank of Texas claimed that information was false, and that it relied upon it deciding to make a $2 million loan to the client, who later defaulted. But Ravkind had not provided the verification form to Bank of Texas. Instead, the form was addressed to an individual at Bright Mortgage, and it was apparently packaged and presented to Bank of Texas by yet another mortgage company. The trial court granted Ravkind’s no-evidence motion for summary judgment, and the court of appeals affirmed, holding that the bank could not demonstrate Ravkind made a representation to it by proof that it was the practice of the lending industry to receive and rely on documents submitted to other financial institutions in connection with the loan.

Bank of Texas, N.A. v. Ravkind, No. 05-11-01123-CV

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