Posts tagged "Centre"

DeWolfe v. Hingham Centre, Ltd., et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-064-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     SJC‑11168   DANIEL DeWOLFE  vs.  HINGHAM CENTRE, LTD., & others.[1]       Plymouth.     December 3, 2012.  ‑  April 11, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.       Broker.  Negligence, Real estate broker, Misrepresentation.  Zoning.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on November 6, 2006.   The case was heard by Charles J. Hely, J., on a motion for summary judgment, and entry of final judgment was ordered by him.   After review by the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court granted leave to obtain further appellate review.     Terrance J. Hamilton (Andrew T. Imbriglio with him) for the defendants. Lawrence J. Rose for the plaintiff. Diane C. Tillotson & Shana E. Maldonado, for Massachusetts Association of Realtors and another, amici curiae, submitted a brief.       LENK, J.  This case arises from certain incorrect representations that a real estate broker made to prospective buyers about the zoning classification of a listed property.  The plaintiff purchased the property after having received the incorrect information and was thereafter unable to use the property as he had intended.  We are called upon to decide whether, in the circumstances, a broker has a duty to investigate before making representations as to the zoning classification of a property.  We are also called upon to decide whether an exculpatory clause concerning warranties and representations, contained in a standard form purchase and sale agreement, precludes the buyer from relying on the broker’s prior written representations as to zoning classification. We conclude that a broker has a duty to exercise reasonable care in making representations as to a property’s zoning designation.  Where, as here, the misrepresentations were based on information provided by the seller, the question turns on whether it was reasonable in the circumstances to rely upon such information, a question to be determined by the trier of fact.  We further conclude that the exculpatory clause in the purchase and sale agreement does not preclude the buyer’s reliance on prior written representations.  Because the defendants have not satisfied their burden of establishing an entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, see Mass. R. Civ. P. 56 (c), as amended, 436 Mass. 1404 (2002), we vacate the judgment.[2]   1.  Background.  The following facts are undisputed.  M. Eileen Richards was a licensed real estate broker employed by […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 12, 2013 at 2:39 am

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