Trials & Litigation

Lawyer ordered to pay $68K for concealing termite damage in home prior to sale

When Sarah Seitz first saw her dream home, it contained only a couch in the living room, a spare tile in one bedroom closet and some window coverings on the floor of another bedroom closet.

All, it turned out, concealed termite damage in the home that attorney Anne C. Harvey and her mother sold to Seitz and her husband, the disabled military veteran told an Ohio jury. Harvey, who did not reveal any termite damage on a disclosure form for the home sale, was found liable for fraudulent misrepresentation, concealment and disclosure and ordered to pay $68,000 in damages, reports the Dayton Daily News.

Harvey “knew, but she tried to claim she didn’t know about it,” said attorney Craig Matthews, who represented Seitz. “And the jury didn’t believe her.”

Harvey referred the newspaper’s request for comment to one of her lawyers, who wasn’t available prior to press time.

Harvey’s counsel unsuccessfully sought to have the fact that she is a Dayton area lawyer kept from the Montgomery County jury. But Judge James W. Luse did nix the punitive damages sought by the plaintiff.

It isn’t known whether any appeals are planned.

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