Monday, January 6, 2014

Laba v. Carey case brief

Laba v. Carey case brief summary
277 N.E.2d 641 (1971)

Appellant seller challenged the decision of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Second Judicial Department (New York), which reversed an order granting seller's cross motion for summary judgment in an action to recover a down payment made by buyers under a contract for the sale of realty. Appellants also sought to enforce their vendees' lien and to recover their expenses for examination of title and their counsel fees.

The parties entered into a written agreement for the purchase and sale of a parcel of real property. The buyers made a down payment that was to be refunded if seller failed to perform. During the title search, an easement and restrictive covenant were found. At closing, the buyers rejected the deed on the ground that the seller was unable to deliver a good, marketable and insurable title. The buyers sought recovery of their downpayment and the appellate division found that in their favor.


  • On review, the court reversed and found that the seller did everything he was required to do under the agreement. 
  • The court determined that the title company assumed responsibility for no less than what the buyers had expressly agreed to accept because it excluded the easement and covenant from coverage. 
  • The court concluded that the buyers had failed to show that the easement or covenant rendered the title unmarketable.

The order granting seller's cross motion for summary judgment was reversed.

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