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Throckmartin v. Century 21 Top Realty
Supreme Court of Wyoming
226 P.3d 793 (2010)
Kathie Hove (defendant), a real-estate broker for Century 21 TOP Realty (TOP) (defendant), was hired to help Byron Throckmartin and Vanessa Throckmartin (plaintiffs) buy a home. The Throckmartins signed a real-estate-broker agreement stating that Hove and TOP would be intermediaries in the transaction. Hove showed the Throckmartins several homes, but the Throckmartins were interested in a home for sale by Re/Max (defendant) and listed by Re/Max agent Vicki Nelson (defendant). After being shown the home by another Re/Max agent, the Throckmartins decided to purchase the home and scheduled an inspection. The Throckmartins submitted their offer and signed the purchase contract, which placed the responsibility to evaluate the property’s condition on the buyer. The contract also provided that the Throckmartins could not rely on information about the condition of the property relayed by the seller or the seller’s agents. The seller’s property-condition disclosure statement indicated defects in the basement walls that the Throckmartins had spoken about with the seller directly. Hove saw the house for the first time during the scheduled inspection. The inspectors were never given a copy of the seller’s condition disclosure. The Throckmartins subsequently closed on the property. The following year, the Throckmartins discovered that the basement walls had crumbled. The Throckmartins filed suit against TOP, Re/Max, Hove, and Nelson, claiming negligence, breach of contract, and fraudulent concealment of defects. The trial court held that because of their roles as intermediaries, Hove and Nelson were only required to inform the Throckmartins of adverse material facts actually known to the intermediaries, and that there was insufficient evidence of the intermediaries’ knowledge. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The Throckmartins appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Hill, J)
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