The usual rule of law is that a fraudster is liable for all losses/restitution, due to their fraud, whether or not reasonably foreseeable.
Suppose a fraudster's deception causes a person to take a course of action they wouldn't have otherwise taken. As part of that, they suffer losses due to a second person's tort. Is that loss recoverable from the fraudster as well?
A person (A) seeks to buy an asset but is greatly deceived by the owner (F) of the asset. (I'm assuming that deceit, reliance, litigation etc are clear, see assumptions at end of Q).
A attempts to be safe by asking a professional valuer (V) for an opinion on the asset before signing, but V was negligent and the valuation was defective. (I'm assuming blatant negligence, reliance, etc)
As a result, A suffers a loss.
If either (1) F had been honest, or (2) even with a dishonest seller had V not been negligent, A would not have bought the asset and therefore would not have suffered the loss.
Usually A would seek damages for their entire loss from V, because professionals often carry insurance against negligence claims.
But I am interested in whether, in law, F still remains liable for A's entire loss, despite any impact of V. Reasons for A wishing to hold F liable for the entirety of loss might be:
- V is now living overseas and hard to litigate against;
- V did not actually have insurance, or there would be no assets to pay the claim if successful;
- V is a personal friend of A and A wants to avoid suing his friend and breaking a friendship;
- A incurred various unrecoverable expenses in claiming against V, and he feels that F should be liable for all losses flowing from the deceit;
- An associate or relation of A (called "B") has also suffered from the deceit and purchase of the asset but B lacked a contractual relationship with V and was not foreseeably reliant on V's defective valuation, and therefore B's only recourse is against F for the loss flowing from a deceit, not V.
A argues that, but for the deceit, neither A or B would have been exposed to a defective valuation or defective asset in the first place, so their entire losses flow from F's deceit and the subsequent valuation error is irrelevant: without F's deceit they wouldn't have put themselves in a position of relying on V in the first place.
F argues that he isn't liable for any material amount of damages to A or B, or for any unrecovered outlay A incurred in suing V, because ultimately A and B only suffered loss in the end due to an unconnected third party's negligence (V). In the alternative, F argues that if found liable, he is only liable for part of the losses claimed by A and B, due to contributory negligence by V.
Is there clear precedent in case law that backs either of their positions?
Or, put another way, is there case law precedent for a deceiver being liable for loss due to a subsequent problem, on the legal ground that "but for the deceit the claimant would never have put themselves in a position where they would have been exposed to the risk of that subsequent problem, in the first place"?
NOTE: Assume for this question that UK law applies, and all criteria for the claims are met: the fact of any deceit or negligence is blatant and uncontested, the fact of reliance or mitigation is uncontested, and so on. So the question is only about how the subsequent matter affects F's liability.