Court holds art buyer can sue broker for alleged fraud without showing "due diligence"
Mattie King sued Park West Galleries and several individuals after the Salvador Dali collection she purchased from them for $165,000.00 turned out to be a likely fraud. King and her husband had purchased the collection, with an appraisal and certificates of authenticity, on some kind of cruise. After King's husband died, ten years after the purchase Mattie began to liquidate their assets and learned, for the first time, that the Dali collection was likely a forgery. She sued.
The trial judge granted Park West's motion for summary disposition, holding that King's claim of fraud was barred by her failure to act for ten years. She appealed and the Court of Appeals reversed. It pointed out that where the gallery had taken affirmative steps, in this case providing the certificates of authenticity and appraisals of the work, that acted to conceal its alleged fraud, the purchaser was not required to establish that she acted with due diligence to discover the fraud.