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$________ - Negligent misrepresentation in sale of real estate - Alleged realtor fraud - Ocean view obscured by new construction.

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida

The plaintiff was a resident of Pennsylvania who invested in the purchase of two condominium units near the beach in Pompano Beach. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant realtor negligently represented that the ocean view from one of the plaintiff’s units would be preserved by zoning restrictions on the height of new construction. The plaintiff also contended that the realtor committed fraud in inducing the plaintiff to sign the sales contract. The defendant maintained that he reasonably relied on the information which was provided to him by the non-party developer of the condominium complex. The real estate agency, which employed the defendant realtor, was also named as a defendant in the case on a vicarious liability theory.

The plaintiff testified that the defendant realtor advised him that construction on the lot between his condominium unit and the ocean was limited to a height of only 35 feet, which would perpetually preserve his view of the ocean. However, the plaintiff learned after the closing that building on the lot in question was permitted to a height of some ________’ and that construction plans were in place for a 54’ building, which would block his ocean view.

The plaintiff’s real estate appraiser testified that the plaintiff’s condominium unit was worth some $________ less with the ocean view obscured. The defendants argued that the realtor did not independently research the zoning laws for the lot involved and had no duty to do so. The defense contended that the realtor simply passed on the information which was provided to it by the developer of the condominium complex. The defense also contended that the diminution in the value of the plaintiff’s unit without the ocean view was only $________.

The jury found for the defendants on the fraud count and for the plaintiff on the claim of negligent misrepresentation. The plaintiff was awarded $________ in damages. The plaintiff’s motion for the addition of pre-judgment interest is pending.

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