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[U] Scondras v. LSI Flood Services

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 11, 2014

REBEKAH SCONDRAS, Appellant
v.
LSI FLOOD SERVICES; NBT SETTLEMENT SERVICES, LLC.; PENNSTAR BANK, A DIVISION OF NBT BANK; AND NBT BANK, Appellees

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Order January 8, 2013 in the Court of Common Pleas of Wyoming County Civil Division at No.: 2007-00998

BEFORE: PANELLA, J., MUNDY, J., and PLATT, J. [*]

MEMORANDUM

PLATT, J.

Appellant, Rebekah Scondras, appeals from the order, following remand, which granted summary judgment in favor of Appellee, NBT Settlement Services, LLC.[1] She asserts the trial court erred in concluding that Appellee owed no duty to warn her that the property she was purchasing was in a flood zone. The trial court reasoned that Appellant could not recover from Appellee merely based on its corporate affiliation with Pennstar Bank, which provided inaccurate information about flood zone status, but had been earlier dismissed from the suit. We affirm.

The trial court provided the underlying facts of the case in the opinion accompanying its order granting summary judgment:

[O]n or about April 24, 2006 [Appellant] entered into a standard agreement for the sale of a property located at 2 Water Street, Nicholson, Wyoming County, Pennsylvania for the purchase price of Fifty Six Thousand Seven Hundred Two Dollars ($56, 702.00). [Appellant] closed on the property on or about May 30, 2006 and a deed was recorded in the Wyoming County Register and Recorder's Office on June 23, 2006.
Prior to the consummation of the purchase of the property, Pennstar Bank, a division of NBT Bank, individually and/or through its agents, servants, employees and/or subcontractors ordered a Flood Certification from LSI Flood Services pursuant to the National Flood Insurance Act, 42 U.S.C.[A]. §§ 4001-4129, under the statutory program operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A Flood Certification was issued on May 5, 2006, which represented that the property was not in a flood hazard area. As a result of this, [Appellant] did not obtain flood insurance. Upon closer review of the Flood Certification, it was learned that the property that was subject to the Flood Certification was actually a property located at 2 Water Street, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania.
Subsequent to purchasing the home, the property at issue, which is, in fact, located in a flood hazard area, was subject to a flood. As a result of the flood, the home was completely destroyed and is now uninhabitable.
Sometime after the filing of the Complaint, LSI Flood Services, Pennstar Bank, a division of NBT Bank and NBT Bank filed Preliminary Objections, which were sustained by the Honorable Brendan J. Vanston in January of 2008. The Complaint was therefore dismissed as against LSI Flood Services, Pennstar Bank, a division of NBT Bank and NBT Bank. No appeal was ever taken of this decision.
Thereafter [Appellee], NBT Settlement Services, filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings in April of 2008, which was granted in June. [Appellant] did file an appeal to that decision. On March 26, 2009 the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued a Memorandum, vacated the judgment and remanded the matter back [to] the Court of Common Pleas for Wyoming County for further proceedings to create a record to assess whether [Appellee] owed [Appellant] any duty.
Discovery has been completed in this matter, namely depositions were taken of [Appellant], Christine Pollard of NBT Settlement Services and Jeannette O'Malley of NBT Settlement Services. [Appellee] filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment, oral arguments were held and the matter is now ripe for decision.

(Trial Court Opinion, filed 1/08/13, at 3-4) (record citations and footnote omitted).[2] The trial court filed an order which granted Appellee's motion for summary judgment, and a supporting ...


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