In most cases, Indianans do not use realtors to buy houses, but rather to lease homes. People put their hopes and dreams in the purchase of their home, their castle, to keep their family safe. But what happens when your dream house is not as advertised, when it’s deadly?This July, a negligence lawsuit has been filed by an Indianapolis couple against their realtors after their infant daughter was poisoned by the lead paint used in their rented home. The realty company, Indiana Realty Partners, leased the home, located on North Keeling Avenue, to the couple in 2012. The couple’s daughter, a newborn, began to exhibit some health symptoms after they moved in.
This spring, the couple had their home inspected and medical tests run on their daughter. The inspection of the home revealed “hazardous” levels of lead in the paint, in the soil, and air. Tests conducted on child indicated the she had lead levels in her blood, which the CDC marks as the “reference level which public health actions be initiated.”
The couple’s suit alleges the realtors were negligent and “should have known”, based upon the condition of the home, that the family was being exposed to dangerous lead levels. Furthermore, the allegations recognize Indiana Realty Partners’ failure to provide the EPA’s lead hazard information disclosure. The lawsuit was filed in Marion Superior Court and the realty company has yet to publicly respond to the suit.
The damages sought are undefined, as the injuries caused by lead exposure can include brain damage and other long-term health problems.
This suit comes as another Indiana realty company just moved to dismiss the Indiana attorney general civil lawsuit against the firm for their allegedly fraudulent rent-to-own scheme. A Madison Circuit Court will likely hear arguments alleging that the defendants failed to pay property taxes and insurance premiums for properties advertised and instead used the money for groceries, restaurants, personal expenses for the realty husband-wife team.
No one should have to go through what these families went through, but each year lawsuits in Indiana are filed for fraud and negligence through the purchase of a home. Indiana Code 34-11-2-7(4) allows for a six year statute of limitation action for fraud, but obviously you will want to consult with an attorney once a problem is detected. The legal battle will involve an extensive discovery process because the case hinges upon evidence of the realtor’s knowledge of the defect. It is consequently most advisable to contact a skilled and experienced Indiana personal injury attorney to help ensure a higher likelihood of a more positive outcome for your case.
Furthermore, in instances where it is appropriate for a suit to be filed against a realtor, oftentimes a suit may also be successful against the home inspector and home seller, as realty companies rely on the home inspector’s report. The home inspector’s or seller’s purposeful misinformation can lead to an award based on fraud, plus their unintentional failures to properly inspect could lead to an award for negligence.