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Easton v. Strassburger

California Court of Appeal
152 Cal. App. 3d 90 (1984)


Facts

Strassburger employed the firm of Valley of California (defendants) as broker for the sale of their property. Easton (plaintiff) purchased the property for $170,000 in May 1976. One of the agents observed that the floor of a guest house was uneven, an indication of soil problems. There was also a net installed to repair damage from a slide which occurred just prior to the sale. The 1976 slide damaged the property so severely that the property was estimated to be worth $20,000 in its damaged condition. There were two other slides in 1973 and 1975 which caused portions of the land to sink significantly. However, defendants never ordered a soil study and did not disclose these facts to Easton. Shortly after the sale, landslides again caused significant damage to the property. The slides occurred because a portion of the property was built on fill that was not properly engineered or compacted. The driveway was destroyed, walls cracked, and floors and doors warped. Easton sued for fraudulent concealment and intentional and negligent misrepresentation. At trial, a jury found that defendants had been negligent and awarded Easton $197,000. The defendants appealed.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kline, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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