Slicer v. Hill, C.A. No. 08C-04-191 MJB (Del. Super.)

Brian M Gottesman

Case Conclusion Date:April 20, 2012

Practice Area:Litigation

Outcome:Summary judgment granted to Berger Harris's clients. Plaintiff appealed but appeal was withdrawn without settlement prior to Supreme Court hearing

Description:Dispute over, inter alia, whether a seller of real estate could owe a duty of care to third parties coming on the property after the completion of the sale. Generally, a seller of land is liable to the purchaser and third parties if they conceal a materially dangerous condition or defect. Other courts and legal authorities, including the widely-adopted Restatement (Second) of Torts, had previously held that a seller or vendor of land has no such duty, either to the vendee (buyer) or third parties, unless the seller knew of a material defect or unsafe condition at the time of sale. Courts normally deviate from that rule only when the seller concealed a dangerous condition, such as chemical contamination or insect infestation, from the buyer. However, the issue was a matter of first impression previously undecided in Delaware.