In Hoffman v. 162 North Wolfe, LLC, a California appellate court recently held that a property owner does not owe a duty to a prospective purchaser of a neighboring property to make disclosures. In Hoffman, plaintiffs purchased a commercial property in Sunnyvale, California. After the close of escrow, the owners of the neighboring property filed suit claiming a landscape and prescriptive easement with rights of ingress and egress over the plaintiffs’ newly purchased property. Plaintiffs cross-complained alleging that the neighbors defrauded them by failing to disclose their claims or interest in the property. The neighbors filed a motion for summary judgment. The court granted the motion dismissing the plaintiffs’ claims. The court held that the neighbors had no duty to disclose the prescriptive easement rights to the plaintiffs. The court further held that there was a lack of justifiable reliance between the parties.
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