Proud Neighbors In Cincinnati

Proud Neighbors In Cincinnati

Ohio couple sues home seller over raccoon infestation

| Jul 24, 2020 | Civil Litigation |

An Ohio couple who purchased a home in the summer of 2019 have filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the woman who sold them the property and the real estate company she used to handle the transaction. The couple says that the seller was aware of but failed to disclose a serious raccoon problem that cost thousands to remedy. They are seeking $25,000 in compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorney fees.

The couple claims in their civil lawsuit that the seller had to be aware of the raccoon problem because of the destruction the animals caused and the smell they made. They also believe that a pile of bricks placed outside a door had been put there by the defendant to keep the animals out. The West Akron residence was inspected before the sale was finalized, but a large section of the attic was blocked off or sealed when the inspection was performed according to the couple.

Raccoon infestations must be disclosed to home buyers because the feces the animals leave behind is considered a dangerous and toxic substance. According to media reports, animal control professionals eventually found and captured 13 raccoons in the home. The couple say that the animals chewed through air conditioning pipes, wiring and insulation, left scratch marks and caused chimney damage. When asked about the lawsuit, the defendants said that they did nothing wrong and called the litigation frivolous.

Lawsuits like this one often come down to establishing what the defendants knew and when they knew it. Attorneys with experience in this area could explain that proving negligence in civil court is not as difficult as proving guilt in a criminal trial because civil cases are decided based on the preponderance of the evidence. This means that civil plaintiffs must only convince juries that their allegations are more likely true than false.