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Houston partner Gary Pate and associate Katherine Zellner obtained a Motion for Summary Judgment in a professional liability case against their real estate clients.

Background

Plaintiff purchased a home that had been flipped by the Seller. Subsequently, the son of the Plaintiff fell through the flooring in the den. Plaintiff sued the inspector, the Listing Agent and Broker, the Seller and her own real estate agent for allegedly failing to disclose the defective subflooring on the home.

Our clients, the Listing Agent and Broker, did not have any reason to know of the defective nature of the subflooring which as concealed under the new laminate flooring.

Analysis

Texas law provides that a Realtor/ Broker has no duty to conduct an independent investigation on the condition of the home. As the condition was a concealed defect, Realtor/ Broker did not know of the condition, thus triggering a duty to disclose the same.

The court ruled that the Listing Agent did not make any misrepresentations to the Buyer as all information that he provided was obtained directly from the Seller. The Listing Agent was nothing more than a conduit of information the Seller was conveying to the Buyer and the Listing Agent had no basis to believe that the information was inaccurate. Therefore, summary judgment was granted as to all claims asserted against our clients.

Related People

Gary L. Pate
Partner

Gary L. Pate

713-358-6779
Email

Katherine A. Zellner
Associate

Katherine A. Zellner

713-358-6194
Email

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