Current homeowners say previous property owner failed to disclose water infiltration damages

By Nicholas Malfitano | Feb 8, 2018

PITTSBURGH – Allegedly unreported water damages have placed the current and former homeowners of an Elizabeth property on opposite sides of the courtroom in a civil lawsuit.

James Garofalo and Darci Garofalo of Elizabeth filed suit on Feb. 5 in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, versus Robert G. Buckingham of Finleyville.

On Jan. 7, 2016, the parties entered into an Agreement of Sale for the property at 130 Walnut Circle in Elizabeth, with the closing taking place on Feb. 22 of that same year, the suit says. As part of the process and the seller’s disclosure agreement, the suit says the defendant was asked whether he was aware of “water leakage, accumulation or dampness in the basement, garage or crawl space?” The defendant answered “No.”

However, during the subsequent inspection of the property, the plaintiffs allegedly discovered the following issues: Water infiltration in the area below the front door; water infiltration in the front right corner of the house near the electrical panel; water damage to the area at the back of the house on the wall underneath the family room extension; water infiltration to the area on the back wall of the house that is adjacent to the aforementioned area at the back of the house and water infiltration in the front of the house under the dining room.

The water damage on the outside of the house is where the leaks are most dramatic and all of these issues should have been disclosed prior to the sale being completed, the suit says.

For counts of breach of contract, misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, fraud and bad faith, the plaintiff is seeking damages in an amount exceeding arbitration limits, including costs and interest, in addition to a trial by jury.

The plaintiff is represented by Matthew J. Scanlon and Timothy Grant Wojton of Scanlon & Wojton, in Bensalem.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas case GD-18-001710

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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