Actual trial experience with
real estate fraud and failure to disclose defects.
Brian Stutheit has actually tried multiple lawsuits about seller failure to disclose property problems , and settled others. This real life experience gives him a leg up on less experienced attorneys.
For example, in a trial in 2016, Stutheit & Gartland successfully defended a used home seller accused by his buyers of hiding roof and basement defects. During the trial, the Court heard from several lay witnesses and expert witnesses. A portion of the Court’s order, with names of the parties removed, follows:
In order to prevail on a claim for Negligent Misrepresentation, Plaintiffs must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that (1) the Defendant negligently gave false information to Plaintiffs; (2) that the Plaintiffs relied on such information; and (3) Plaintiffs’ reliance was the cause of physical harm to the property of Plaintiffs. Negligence means a failure to do an act which a reasonably careful person would do, or the doing of an act which a reasonably careful person would not do, under the same or similar circumstances, to protect others from property damage. The evidence does not establish that the seller knew or should have known of the problems.
The Court finds that the buyers have failed to prove that the seller negligently gave false information to Plaintiffs and they have failed to prove that Plaintiffs’ reliance on such false information was the cause of physical harm to the property of Plaintiffs. The cause of the harm to Plaintiffs’ property was shoddy work by the roofing company hired by the seller, and not any negligent misrepresentation by the seller.
ORDER OF JUDGMENT
Judgment hereby enters in favor of Defendant and against Plaintiffs on the claims for Breach of Contract and Negligent Misrepresentation. Judgment hereby enters in favor of Defendant against Plaintiffs, jointly and severally, for seller’s claim for attorney fees and costs.