Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Licari v. Blackwelder case brief

Licari v.  Blackwelder case brief summary
539 A.2d 609 (1988)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant brokers sought review of the decision of the Stamford-Norwalk Superior Court (Connecticut), which granted judgment for plaintiff sellers in the sellers' action to recover damages for the alleged breach of fiduciary duty and intentional misrepresentation in the sale of real property.

CASE FACTS
The sellers decided to sell their property. They had no real knowledge as to the actual or potential value of the property. The sellers contacted a real estate agent who consulted with the brokers. The real estate agent obtained an exclusive 24-hour right to sell the property and the brokers made an offer, which the sellers accepted. The brokers did not negotiate on behalf of or for the sellers with another prospective buyer, nor did they disclose to the sellers their understanding of the potential value of the property. The brokers then sold the property for a large profit.

DISCUSSION

  • The court affirmed the trial court's decision granting judgment for the sellers. 
  • The court determined that there was sufficient evidence to support the trial court's conclusions. 
  • The court could not retry the facts of the case or pass upon the credibility of the witnesses. 
  • Whether the brokers were agents of the sellers was a question of fact. 
  • The relationship did not have to arise from an express appointment and an acceptance. 
  • The brokers were fiduciaries and were required to exercise fidelity and good faith and could not put themselves in a position antagonistic to the sellers' interests.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the trial court's decision granting judgment for the sellers in their action to recover damages for the alleged breach of fiduciary duty and intentional misrepresentation in the sale of real property.

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