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MARY ELLEN WARD v. LEWIS I. SERFAS (07/24/89)

submitted: July 24, 1989.

MARY ELLEN WARD, APPELLANT,
v.
LEWIS I. SERFAS, PATRICIA E. SERFAS, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order Docketed March 7, 1989, in the Court of Common Pleas of Bradford County, Civil Division, at No. 88CV000148.

COUNSEL

Michael J. Dowd, Athens, for appellant.

Richard D. Sheetz, Troy, for appellees.

Rowley, Olszewski and Hester, JJ.

Author: Hester

[ 387 Pa. Super. Page 427]

Mary Ellen Ward, appellant, appeals from the order entered March 7, 1989, which granted the preliminary objections of appellees and dismissed her complaint. We reverse and remand.

On March 12, 1988, appellant instituted this action against appellees, Lewis and Patricia Serfas. The allegations set fourth in the complaint are as follows. On June 1, 1987, appellant entered into an agreement to purchase a nursing home from appellees. Prior to entering into the agreement, appellant had inspected the home for a brief period during which she alleges appellees carefully controlled the amount of time she was accorded to examine the property. That inspection failed to reveal various defects of which appellees had knowledge, and during the inspection, appellees made various misrepresentations about the condition of the property.

In count one, appellant alleges that appellees showed her the fireplace, and specifically represented that it was operational and that it had often been used by them. In fact, the chimney was blocked and the flue liner was defective, and appellees were aware of these defects at the time of the inspection. Appellees also actively concealed a burn mark in the living room floor by placing furniture over it.

In count two, appellant alleges that water damage to one of the rooms on the top floor of the nursing home was not revealed during the inspection. With respect to the water damage, she alleges that appellees told her that the roof

[ 387 Pa. Super. Page 428]

    needed to be repaired and that they were going to get it repaired. However, they did not reveal the water damage caused by the leaking roof to her. Appellant also avers that she did not see the water damage during her inspection since appellees hurried her through the inspection of the upstairs in order that the tenants would not be disturbed.

Count three relates to the sewage system in the home. Mr. Serfas showed appellant an area which allegedly contained the sewage system, and he also told appellant, in response to her question, that the sewage line had been inspected and that it was in good working order except in two respects: it needed to be cleaned and required a new top. In truth, the sewer line has not been operable and has been discharging raw sewage on the neighbor's property for a number of years.

In conclusion, appellant alleges that the misrepresentations made by appellees as set forth in the complaint were made for the purpose of defrauding appellant in order to induce her to purchase the property for a price in excess of its fair value. Further, she alleges that the fraudulent misrepresentations were made knowingly and willfully. She requests the costs of repairing the ...


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