Hidden Termite Damage Lawyer Recovers $138,000
A Maryland homebuyer in need of a hidden termite damage lawyer called Whitney, LLP after discovering major hidden termite damage shortly after closing. The house was sold by a real estate investor (i.e., flipper) whose realtor listed it as recently renovated. A pre-closing home inspection noted that repairs had been made to pest-related damage to structural portions of the flooring in the basement. A separate Wood Destroying Insect (“WDI”) Inspection report noted no termite damage, but found evidence of the presence of termites in a corner of the basement. The flipper agreed to provide a termite treatment prior to closing. After closing, the new homeowner discovered extensive termite damage that had not been repaired. The new home owner was faced with significant termite damage repair costs she could not afford. After filing the lawsuit seeking compensation for the hidden termite damage, the homeowner recovered $138,000.
We offer Legal Consultations to Home Owners for Termite Damage Claims
Call Whitney, LLP’s Maryland termite damage lawyers at 410 583 8000, or use our Quick Contact Form, to discuss your potential case. Here is our YouTube Channel for more videos on termite damage and termite legal issues.
Who to Sue for Hidden Termite Damage?
It can be emotionally and financially devastating to find out that your new home is structurally unsound due to termites. The house may be unsafe to live in thereby preventing the new homebuyer from moving in, or it may require greatly restricting its use. When a homebuyer discovers previously undisclosed or hidden termite damage, a lawyer who is knowledgeable and experienced in termite damage litigation can help determine who should pay for the repairs. Termite damage is not covered by the typical homeowners insurance policy. Generally, the potentially responsible parties include:
- The Seller – Did the Seller have actual knowledge of a latent defect and fail to disclose? Or, did the Seller falsely deny any history of termites, termite damage or termite treatment?
- Seller’s Agent – Did the Seller’s agent know of the termite issue? And if not, should the agent have known?
- Buyer’s Agent – Did the Buyer’s agent fail to recommend a WDI Inspection?
- The Pest Control Company – Did the pest control company who performed a WDI Inspection fail to detect visually obvious signs of the presence of termites or termite damage?
Whether a particular party is sued further depends upon such factors as the strength of evidence to support a claim for fraud or negligent misrepresentation, and the availability of attorney’s fees for the prevailing party. Another factor is the availability of liability insurance and/or personal assets to satisfy a judgment. Flippers are notorious for hiding assets, and often set up a corporation for each property they flip; and after they receive the large profits from the sale, dissolve the corporation.
Investigating Termite Damage Claims
After finding the damage, our client realized she needed a Maryland termite damage lawyer. Once we were retained by the new homeowner, our termite damage repair experts performed an investigation. A construction expert estimated over $95,000 in termite damage repairs were needed to restore the property to pre-termite condition. A structural engineer hired by Whitney, LLP recommended that urgent repairs be made. Signs of termite damage can be viewed here.
Real Estate Agent Knew About Damaged Wood
Whitney, LLP further investigated whether there was evidence that the Seller’s realtor had any notice of the termite damage. We learned that before our client entered the Contract of Sale, an earlier Contract had been terminated because of the termite damage. The same agent was involved in both transactions. Under Maryland law, real estate licensees are obligated to disclose material facts that they know or should know about the property. Yet the agent failed to disclose the relevant history, and our client made an offer to purchase which she otherwise would not have made. Real estate agents that do not disclose termite damage can be held responsible for termite damage repair costs.
Lawyer for Termite Damage Claims – Whitney, LLP
After weighing various factors, the decision was made to file suit against the flipper’s real estate agent. Following depositions of the agent and our client, the case was settled for $138,000.
Whitney, LLP’s termite damage lawyers help homeowners in Maryland who find termite damage after moving into a new house.
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Call Whitney, LLP at 410 583 8000, or use our Quick Contact Form, to discuss your potential case. Here is our YouTube Channel for more videos on termite damage and termite legal issues. Of course, all cases are different and past results do not guarantee future results.