Saturday, December 13, 2008, 12:51 PM

Supreme Court Adopts COA Dissent Saying Justifiable Reliance on MLS Listing Is A Jury Question

In Crawford V. Mintz, the COA majority reversed a jury verdict and held that defendants real estate agent and broker did not negligently represent a home's features because plaintiffs were not justified in relying on an MLS listing that stated the home was connected to the city sewer. Plaintiffs discovered that the home actually had a septic tank when it backed up and flooded their backyard. The jury awarded them the cost of repairing the sewer system and connecting the home to the city sewer. The COA majority said that reliance was not justifiable because plaintiffs received the MLS listing not from defendants but from their own realtor, and because plaintiffs' realtor omitted the disclaimer "Information Deemed Reliable But Not Guaranteed" from the listing. Judge Steelman dissented, arguing that despite any disclaimers, the information given to plaintiffs was false, and the trial court properly submitted the issue of justifiable reliance to the jury. The Supreme Court reversed the COA per curiam for the reasons stated in Judge Steelman's dissent.

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