Dolgetta Law

Daly v. Kochanowicz Caveat Emptor is Alive and Well in New York

On August 18, 2009, the Appellate Division Second Department rendered an opinion in the matter of Daly v. Kochanowicz (884 N.Y.S.2d 144; N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept. [2009], 884 N.Y.S.2d 144 [2009]). This decision is a perfect teaching tool for real estate licensees and attorneys, as to how “Caveat Emptor” is applied in New York.

The decision involved a home in Mamaroneck, New York, which was the subject of a closing on July 6, 2006. The owners of the property, Tara Kochanowicz and Robert Janowitz, listed their property with Kathleen Spadaro and Spadaro Real Estate, Ltd. The purchaser, Stephanie Daly was introduced to the property by Christopher Abate of CS Realty & Relocations Services, Inc. Approximately nine (9) months after the closing, two separate, severe storms (on March 2, 2007 and April 15, 2007) occurred and the subject property became “catastrophically flooded.” The purchaser, Stephanie Daly, was forced to relocate. The damage to the property, as well as to the contents of the property, was severe. Thereafter, Ms. Daly commenced an action in Westchester County Supreme Court alleging that the brokers (both listing agent and selling agent) conspired to defraud the purchaser about the likelihood of flooding at the property and further alleged that the seller made a material misrepresentation to her and to her home inspector by denying that there were water problems in the property. The purchaser alleged that the brokers and sellers fraudulently induced Ms. Daly into purchasing the premises.

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