Blogging About Trial
What if the termite story was different?

Four Days Before Trial

Ok, here’s the latest. This is a case that’s been going on for about 8 months. The case involves the sale of a residential home. The sellers did not know that there was termite infestation in the home. The buyers purchased the property and are now suing for innocent misrepresentation. They voluntarily dismissed the fraud and breach of contract counts today. The key issues in the case are whether the buyer relied on the seller’s disclosure statement which indicated there was no personal knowledge of termite or carpenter ant infestation.

Based on these facts alone, what do you think? Does Plaintiff win? Why or why not?

Comments

Bill

The plaintiff might win, but the defense should be able to significantly reduce the damages because of the negligence by the plaintiffs. They most likely had a chance to inspect the house for defects, including infestations of termites or other destructive critters, and passed on it.

If this ended up in front of a jury, and the sellers could show that they took reasonable steps to be truthful, then I could see a jury/trier of fact denying the claim.

Sanford Hausler

Defendant should win. Caveat Emptor. (Unless the defendant knew about the termites and told the plaintiff that he had no knowledge, which, since the fraud claim was dropped, appears not to be the case.) I don't see how anyone can win by relying on a representation that says "I don't know if there are termites." Why didn't they just check?

Nevada VA

The defendant should win if the buyers/plaintiffs declined the opportunity to pay for inspections of the property, unless they can provide documentation that the sellers had the house treated previously for infestations. I've never lived in a state where the termite inspection wasn't mandatory in order to get funding for a house.

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