Changing Liability: Court Case Follow-Up Image

Changing Liability: Court Case Follow-Up


In June 2011, RECABlog brought this Ontario court case to your attention. In the case, the Ontario court found a real estate agent partly liable for damages for failing to review a home inspection report with his buyer client. The judge found that the home inspector should have suspected mould on the property in question due to signs of potential problems on the premises, and that the buyer’s real estate agent should have also suspected mould after reviewing the home inspector’s report. The judge proportioned 25% of liability on the real estate agent, 25% on the buyer and 50% on the home inspector.

The real estate agent and the buyer appealed the decision, and in May 2012, the Court of Appeal for Ontario allowed the appeal and inspector was found 100% liable for the damages. The Court of Appeal for Ontario decision stated:

“It was the inspector’s responsibility to discover the potential moisture problem. In the absence of expert evidence, it was an error in law to find the real estate agent liable for failing to read the report, and failing to pick up indicators of moisture problems from the report, when the inspector, himself, failed to pick up on them.”

With which decision do you agree—the original court decision or the decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario? Why?