Stambovsky v. Ackley 169 A.D.2d 254 (NY App. Div. 1991) the Haunted House Non-disclosure Case is a very interesting read. Here's a brief re-cap as a law cliftnote so your eyes don't cross and you don't choke on legal eagle stuff. It's part of my reading list from my attorney girlfriends and I cracked up so much I had to take a break, pop in the Rain and share this with you.
My fave cliftnote quote is a question, then part of the answer: "Issue: Under what circumstances may nondisclosure of information by the seller of a house to the buyer entitle the buyer to rescind a contract for sale?" Part of the answer: Although New York follows the caveat emptor rule and the buyer is required to inspect the house for any defects, in this case the buyer probably would not have been able to discover that the house was haunted had he inspected it. Since D knew about the problem and did not disclose it to P and P could not have detected it, P was awarded rescission of the contract for sale. The court held that the caveat emptor doctrine only acts against those who do not exercise their rights and who fail to take due care. In this case there was no clue or objective standard to apply to P regarding how the ghosts were to be discovered."
Who knew, as a buyer or broker, you had to ask if the damn house is haunted? I sure as hell didn't (ROTFL). Geez... Did I mention my girlfriends were mad fun? If you can't have fun at work, where can you? My tutors sent me a PDF that floored me. It's very well written and the droll, dry treatment of ghosts tickled me pink. BTW, the six page Westlaw PDF file (Cite as: 169 A.D.2d 254) on this is fantastic. You guys have soooo got to read this. Seriously... Law briefs can be funny when you love irony. ;-)
My fave quote from the appeal contained in the PDF is on page 2: "The unusual facts of this case, as disclosed by the record, clearly warrant a grant of equitable relief to the buyer who, as a resident of New York City, cannot be expected to have any familiarity with the folklore of the Village of Nyack. Not being a "local", plaintiff could not readily learn that the home he had contracted to purchase is haunted. Whether the source of the spectral apparitions seen by defendant seller are parapsychic or psychogenic, having reported their presence in both a national publication (Readers' Digest) and the local press (in 1977 and 1982, respectively), defendant is estopped to deny their existence and, as a matter of law, the house is haunted."
Hmm... might want to think twice about what you publish in your blog posts and the comments section... Imagine hypothetically being "estopped" to deny what you published said down the road (LMAO). ;-)
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