Call us: (905) 366 9700

Legal Blog

Misrepresentation / Patent Defect / Latent Defect

Posted on October 5, 2016 | Posted in Civil Litigation, Five Liners

Brown v. Cassidy 2016 Ont SCJ

A purchaser bought a house. Agreement contained the usual “entire agreement” and “no oral representations” clauses. As soon as the purchaser moved in, he found that there had been water damage and extensive mould. The defects were not obvious (i.e. not patent); accordingly, the purchaser was bound by caveat emptor (i.e. buyer beware) unless he could show any of the following:

  • the vendor fraudulently misrepresented or concealed the latent defect
  • the vendor knew of the latent defect rendering the house unfit for habitation
  • the vendor was reckless as to the truth or falsity of statements made relating to the fitness of the house for habitation
  • the vendor breached his duty to disclose a latent defect that rendered the premises dangerous

The judge found that the vendor advised the purchaser that there were no water problems since work done to remediate them had been done in 2002. The judge believed the vendor that there had been, to his knowledge, no such problems. Indeed, the vendor’s son had lived in the basement for many years and this would not have taken place if the vendor knew that there were mould problems. The judge dismissed the action.


Jonathan Speigel


Written by Jonathan Speigel Jonathan Speigel, the founding partner of Speigel Nichols Fox LLP, leads the litigation and construction practices.


Download our free checklist:

“10 Questions to ask before hiring a law firm”


Speigel Nichols Fox LLP