Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Weintraub v. Krobatsch case brief

Weintraub v. Krobatsch case brief summary
64 N.J. 445, 317 A.2d 68 (1974)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant purchasers sought review of the decision of the appellate court (New Jersey), which affirmed the trial court's entry of summary judgment in favor of respondent seller and directed appellants to pay damages to respondent seller and respondent real estate agency. Respondent seller brought the suit after appellants rescinded on a contract to purchase a house owned by respondent seller.

CASE FACTS
Appellant purchasers contracted to purchase a home owned by respondent seller and, as required by the contract, gave a deposit, which was to be held in escrow on behalf of respondent seller, to respondent real estate agency. Prior to closing, appellants discovered that the house was infested with cockroaches and promptly attempted to rescind the contract. Respondent seller rejected the recission and filed a lawsuit against appellants and respondent real estate agency for damages in the amount of the deposit. Respondent real estate agency filed a cross-claim seeking payment of its commission. Appellants sought review of the appellate court's decision which affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment to respondent seller and directed appellants to pay damages to both respondents.

DISCUSSION

  • The court reversed the appellate court's decision because appellants were entitled to a trial on the issue of whether there was fraudulent concealment or nondisclosure justifying their recission. 
  • The court held that respondent seller's silence regarding the roach infestation, if she was aware of it and it was found to be a material fact, could constitute fraud.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed and remanded the appellate court's order, entering summary judgment for respondent seller and real estate agency, because appellant purchasers were entitled to a trial on the issue of whether respondent seller fraudulently concealed a material fact, that the house was infested with roaches, justifying appellants' recision of the contract to purchase the house.

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