FH&P lawyers are pleased to announce that our Clay Williams and David Horvath were successful in prosecuting a fraud case against vendors who had sold their “fixer-upper” house and made false statements in their property disclosure statement.
The Defendants, the Cummings, originally purchased the property as a “fixer-upper” intending to renovate and sell it. After renovations were complete the Cummings rented the property waiting for the market to improve so that they could eventually sell it. The Plaintiffs, the Brunnings, purchased the property in May 2016. While the tenants lived on the property, they had many issues with flooding. The Cummings knew about the flooding but failed to fully disclose this in their property disclosure statement to the Brunnings. The Cummings indicated in their property disclosure statement that the tenants had water ingress issues, but that these issues were fixed.
The Brunnings proceeded with the purchases understanding the water ingress issues were fully resolved. However, the Brunnings were unaware that less than a month before they took possession of the property, the tenants reported that water was coming up through the carpet in the basement once again. The Cummings dismissed the tenants claim as a “non-event” and assumed that the reason for this claim was retaliation for having the tenants vacate the home as a result of the impeding sale.
The Brunnings experienced this water ingress issue first-hand in February 2017, it was certainly not fixed. The Brunnings did what they could to try and stop the water from coming into their basement, yet, their efforts did little to resolve the issue. The Brunnings continued to experience water flooding in their basement multiple times a year since 2017, making their basement unusable. The Brunnings sued the vendors, the Cummings, for fraudulent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract.
After 8 days of trial, the Honourable Mr. Justice Weatherill ruled that the Cummings had “deliberately misled” the Brunnings, finding the Cummings liable for fraudulent misrepresentation. Mr. Justice Weatherill awarded $168,000 in damages to the Brunnings for remediation costs and general damages.
Clay Williams is a partner at FH&P and has considerable experience in personal injury and business law disputes. David Horvath is an associate who practices general litigation in the areas of civil, commercial, and estate litigation. For more information about the Brunning v. Cummings case click here. An article can also be found on Castanet regarding the case here.
Pictured above is David Horvath.
Pictured above is Clay Williams.
FH&P Lawyers LLP Welcomes Tanvir Gill to the Firm
Originally from Surrey, B.C. Tanvir obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Simon Fraser University before attending law school at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. She obtained her law degree in 2018 and completed her articles with a local firm. Tanvir was called to the Bar in 2019 and joined FH&P as an associate in July 2020. Tanvir is building a practice with a focus on residential and commercial real estate, business law and wills and estates. She is fluent in both Punjabi and Hindi. Outside of the office, Tanvir enjoys taking advantage of all that the Okanagan Valley has to offer, whether that means visiting her favourite wineries, paddle boarding or snowboarding at Big White in the winters.
DON’T JUST CLOSE YOUR DOORS (Part 3): Options for Financing
This is Part 3 of a three-part series entitled “Don’t Just Close Your Doors” in which we provide options for business owners struggling with the effects of the shutdowns and who see no option other than shutting down. In previous articles, I urge business owners not to focus on the current cashflow of the business (which is likely not great, given the state of the economy) and focus instead on the sources of potential value in their business – client lists, location, intellectual property, existing contracts, and business systems.
DON’T JUST CLOSE YOUR DOORS: Finding a Buyer (PART 2)
This is Part 2 of a three-part series entitled “Don’t Just Close Your Doors” in which we provide options for business owners who see no option other than shutting down. In the previous article, I urge business owners not to focus on the current cashflow of the business (which is likely not great, given the state of the economy) and focus instead on the sources of potential value in their business – client lists, location, intellectual property, existing contracts, and business systems. Rather than shutting their doors, we hope to encourage business owners to realize that potential value, and consider selling all, or a part, of their business to benefit from the value they have created.