Johnson v. WysockiAnnotate this Case
Buyers bought a home from Sellers after Sellers completed Indiana's statutory disclosure forms attesting to the home's condition. Buyers subsequently discovered costly defects in the home. Buyers sued Sellers, alleging fraudulent misrepresentation. The trial court awarded damages to Plaintiffs. At issue on appeal was whether Indiana's disclosure statutes created a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation or if the common law still applied and the principle of caveat emptor precluded recovery on the action. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the legislature's adoption of the disclosure statutes abrogated the state's common law jurisprudence falling within their scope, and therefore, the disclosure statues create liability for sellers when they fail to truthfully disclose the condition of features of their property that must be disclosed to the buyer; and (2) the district court erred in finding that Sellers were liable to Buyers because the defects in the home "should have been obvious" to Sellers, as Sellers' "actual knowledge" of the defects was not established. Remanded.