February 14th, 2020 by FH&P Lawyers

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.

Blog Search

COVID-19 Series for Business Owners: Commercial Leasing for Tenants

For most business owners, entering into and abiding by a commercial lease is a standard part of running a business. Most business owners have seen their businesses through ups and downs, times of boom and times of bust – these are simply part of running a business, resourceful business owners are able to find their way out. However, the shut down we’re currently witnessing presents real problems that even the most resourceful business owner won’t be able to navigate – how is anyone supposed to cover their lease payments when they’re not able to operate their business?

Parenting Time During the COVID-19 Pandemic

If you have kids and you are separated or divorced from the other parent of those kids, there is a good chance you have an Agreement of some sort (written or unwritten) or a Court Order outlining how you and that other parent share time and responsibilities for your kids. You may be wondering what, if any impact, the pandemic has on that Agreement or Court Order.

Rent & COVID-19

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal and Provincial Governments are urging Canadians to stay home and practice social distancing. As a result, we have seen massive layoffs and many Canadians are struggling to pay their bills. With April 1st approaching, many Canadians are asking: What do I do if I can’t pay rent this month?