Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Walker Rogge, Inc. v. Chelsea Title & Guaranty Co. case brief

Walker Rogge, Inc. v. Chelsea Title & Guaranty Co. case brief summary
562 A.2d 208 (1989)

Defendant title insurer appealed decision of the Superior Court, Appellate Division (New Jersey), which affirmed judgment against it in plaintiff insured's action filed after learning that land purchased contained less acreage than plaintiff contemplated.

Plaintiff acquired a title insurance policy from defendant. Later, plaintiff discovered that the land purchased was smaller than plaintiff had contemplated. Plaintiff sued defendant for damages, and the trial court found defendant liable on its policy, but not in negligence.

The appellate court affirmed, but also held defendant was liable for negligence.


  • The state high court reversed and remanded, holding defendant was not obligated to calculate, from either its policy or from the deed plaintiff received, the acreage of the lot purchased. 
  • Since defendant's policy did not expressly recite the acreage, it did not assure the quantity of land purchased. 
  • Also, the exception from coverage in defendant's policy for matters that could have been revealed through a survey included the size of the lot purchased. 
  • The negligence issue, however, was remanded for a determination of whether defendant assumed a duty independent from the policy to assure the quantity of acreage.

Judgment reversed, as defendant was not liable under title insurance policy when land plaintiff purchased turned out to be smaller than realized, since policy did not expressly recite acreage of property. Issue of defendant's negligence was remanded for determination of whether defendant assumed duty to assure quantity of acreage.

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