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Sound Techniques, Inc. v. Hoffman

Massachusetts Appeals Court
737 N.E.2d 920 (2000)


Facts

Sound Techniques, Inc. (Sound) (plaintiff) leased space on the second floor of a building from Barry Hoffman (defendant). Sound toured the space prior to entering into a lease agreement with Hoffman’s leasing agent. The first floor of the building was occupied by a bar, which was undergoing an expansion. Sound informed the leasing agent that the purpose of the space on the second floor would be for a recording studio. Sound asked the leasing agent about the bar’s expansion and was told that only the dining area was being expanded and that only background music would play in the expanded area. Although Sound toured the space several times, Sound did not visit during evening hours or on the weekend. Sound entered into the lease, which contained a clause disclaiming any reliance on representations not contained in the agreement. Sound later discovered that the bar’s expansion included an upgraded sound system and a dance floor. The noise from the bar disrupted the studio at times and caused Sound to lose business. Sound sued Hoffman for breach of contract, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation. The jury awarded judgment to Sound on the negligent-misrepresentation claim. Hoffman appealed to the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Perretta, J.)

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