Are there any tile and drywall people who can answer this question. I
sold a 20+ year old home and now the Buyer is now trying to sue me. I
never had a problem or noticed anything wrong when I sold it over 2
If it was not maintained by them, keeping the caulk good at the tub and
if cracks developed they did not maintain the life is short, so counter
sue them for filing a frivilous lawsuit. Did you dislose nothing because
there was nothing wrong to you, then dont worry. Go to your courthouse
check records to see if they have done this before. It seems to be a
common issue, but if their claim is without merit you may collect.
Or they dont know how to use a shower !
I used to have a rental property and the plaster shower walls had
lasted 50 years. These tenants destroyed the walls and rotted the
floor in several months. Not only did I evict them, but they ended up
paying for the damage. The walls are NOT to be flooded with the
shower and the floor is NOT part of the shower. Some people are too
stupid to understand that. Heck, my father used to make everyone that
showered dry the walls with a towel afterwards. He never had wall
If the house walls were fine when you sold the place, and 2 years
later they are complaining, I'd laugh in their face and tell them
where to go....
The problem is you must prove your case, if you could get in there and
get photos you would learn alot, play their game, offer to settle to get
an advance look at their evidence and the bath, then you will know how
to plan your defence.
No mention should be made of a settlement at any time, even if it's a
ruse to get in the house. A judge hearing that may decide to play
Solomon and split the difference - the OP may end up paying through the
nose for that ruse.
There really is no reason for the OP to take a look at the current
situation. Even if it's a shambles that means nothing to him...unless
he knew of the condition prior to the sale and didn't disclose it.
It's up to the new owners to prove that he knew, or should have known.
If the new owner has had a contractor look at the bathroom, and that
contractor had done work repairing rot behind the tile for the OP,
there's a problem.
BTW, rebuttal suits by B against A for frivolous lawsuits or "abuse of
process" by A againt B can't be heard until after the original case
has been heard and after the defendant B has won. I don't think they
can even be filed until after those two things. IIUC, it's a policy
decision to discourage such suits except in cases where it is worth it
to B to expend the extra effort. If they allowed them concurrently
with the original lawsuit, almost EVERYONE would file them.
That they waited two years to sue you, if they didn't give you notice
of the problem much earlier, will absolutely help you win this lawsuit
(which I firmly expect you will win), but it's not enough to make them
lose a "frivolous lawsuit" suit. They will have an excuse for not
suing earlier, and although it's not good not to sue promptly (look up
"laches"), it doesn't make one frivolous if he sues too late to win
his case, if he had, forget the exact term, a reasonable? belief? he
had a valid claim. It's intentionally hard to win suits for frivolous
law suits because public policy is to not discourage the original suit
if it there is any merit to it.
IANAL, and any counter examples would be appreciated.
Also, "offers to compromise" are not admissable in court, because it
is public policy that disagreements should be settled without going to
court. Judges know that some people will settle and pay money etc.
even when they were not actually liable. Often this is because it is
expensive to hire a lawyer, but even in small claims court, they know
that some people don't have the time, make more money working than
they would lose by settling.
I'm not saying however that a judge (or in small claims court some
states like NY use hearing officers, who iirc are just lawyers who
have passed the bar and have some particular minimum level of
experience), I'm not saying that someone couldn't be influenced by an
offer to settle, but I think it is pretty rare. Judges and lawyers
have all spent money themselves and most have had or their close
family has had disagreements with house buyers, house sellers,
contractors, vendors, stores, and know close-hand that people will
offer to settle to make things go away even when they have no legal
obligation. Still, I'm not saying the hearing officer can't be
influenced by an offer, especially maybe if the offer was for 60 or
90% of what is asked for.
BTW, "should have known" means something more than just "It's my house
and I should know everything that goes on in it." This was one of the
days I was sleeping in law school, so I can't think of any examples
given then, but it refers (maybe amoung other things) to something
that one would have seen if only he had looked, and I think he had
some duty to look. If you have a retaining wall, that protects a
neighbor's property, it's your duty to inspect it once in a while, at
least to look to see if it bulging or tipping, or if it needs
tuck-pointing, for example. Even if it is the neighbor's interest to
inspect your wall for you, he might not be living there. But even if
he is living there, I think you still have a duty to inspect your wall
or have someone do it, even if you are not living there. Remember, I
am not a lawyer and maybe I'm worse than a non-lawyer, because if the
rest of you had started law school, you probably would have finished.
Nonetheless, I don't want someone thinking that "should have known"
should be taken in its broadest form. There are probably people who
feel, "I should have known" even if they had no way to know. I should
have given blood when you were sick, even though I was 2000 miles
awaay and no one told me you were sick. I should have called, evne
though you called 3 days earlier, and normally only call once a week.
No. That's not the standard. If you were in your shower and looked at
the shower walls and didn't see anything, you're not expected to have
If there had been a big flood in the floor above, and yet not that
much water showed up in the room where the shower was, maybe you have
should have known it went, or might have gone, into the sheetrock.
OTOH, if that was 5 years ago and you haven't had any problems, well I
don't know, but I'm sure there was no flood to begin with.
Huh? There is something called "disclosure", in the US anyway. They _have_
to provide the opposing party copies of or access to their evidence. But
if you are at the stage of examining evidence and preparing defenses, then
you're really outside the realm of small claims court and you need a
Around here it is called discovery. The opposing party must provide
you with evidence they will present in court so that you may have time
to prepare a rebuttal. They don't have to provide copies of things you
should already have, such a sales contract.
You can subpoena evidence from them. The first thing I would want is a
copy of their home inspector's report to them. If he found nothing
wrong with the shower, he will pretty much have to say so in court to
protect his reputation.
--Andy Asberry recommends NewsGuy--
Perhaps it is just personality, but I will spend whatever is necessary
to collect what is owed me.
By the same token, I will spend whatever is necessary to make it right
when I'm in the wrong. That hard rule has served me well in over 40
years in business.
In court, that means being prepared to defend or attack. I will not
lose because I left a slip of paper at home.
--Andy Asberry recommends NewsGuy--
I doubt it would take anything near that.
Let's say you had signed a promissory note for a pennys worth of
education. How much aggravation would you endure before settling up?
I once filed a small claim case for a $25.00 bad check. Won my
judgement for the $25 and my $28 court costs. Filed the judgement and
kept it renewed. Twenty-one years later the guy was trying to buy a
house and came in wanting to settle the judgement. Over $400.
But they are in small claims court. A lawyer could give some advice.
A frienr had a lawyer when he sued someone, in advance and at the
trial too, although I don't think the lawyer was much value that day.
The respondent had already decided to cave. In some states you can
only sue for money, but in Texas and maybe other states, you can sue
for things, even in small claims court. His ex-wife had stolen a
pre-wwii antique he inherited from his mother. Probably worth 2000
dollars. But he didn't want the money. he wanted the item, and she
brought it, and there was no trial.
I think you can subpoena things and subpoena witnesses, I think in at
least some states, but I get the impression no one does. They just
take what comes. If the employer brings the employee that screwed up
that might be good for the plaintiff, but the plaintiff never thinks
to subpoena. Actually I sued someone who hit my car, and I don't
recall what it said on the form about subpoenas, but it was another
Relax and don't worry about it. Alot of things can happen in two years,
they are just "waving their swords" and trolling for some money from a
quick out of court settlement. They purchased a 20 y.o home WITHOUT a
warranty, so they are out of luck. You can do extensive damage if the
grout cracks and it is not repaired, causing water to seep behind the
tile, and even if the grout was cracked before the closing, THEIR home
inspector should have picked up on it, and had YOU repair the problem,
prior to closing. These Turds are S.O.L !!!
Tell them you know the Chuckster from N.J. and he said: Put all your
energy and money into helping the poor and sick, instead of tying up
the court system, because you are going to Fu@kin loose!! (of course
ya gotta say this in a Jersey accent for it to be effective)
HUGE TIP! Don't loose any sleep and don't give these Idiots one penny
of your hard earned money, you did nothing wrong. Trolls are
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.