Mediation as required by the sales contract failed to resolve the dispute.
Mediation to settle a dispute about a so-called snake infested house in Maryland has failed and the $2 million lawsuit will commence, according to The Capital Gazette. A hearing that was scheduled for this morning was cancelled, and the trial seems to be imminent, but no trial date has yet been set, the paper said. A pretrial conference is slated for April.
Last week the judge who was supposed to hear the case recused himself because his godson is married to an attorney for the plaintiffs, Jeff and Jody Brooks and he did some work for the defendant many years ago. They are suing Barbara Van Horn, the real estate agent who sold them the home and is also the daughter of the owner of the home, Joan Broseker, for $2 million.
Snake Infested House Background Information
Jeff and Jody Brooks purchased a house for $410,000 in Annapolis, Maryland last December and found more than 12 black rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta) living in the house. The couple then filed a $2 million lawsuit against the real estate agent, Barbara Van Horn, who filed a lawsuit of her own in hopes of having the case against her dismissed.
The Brookses say they spent $60,000 in extermination costs in an attempt to rid the house of the snakes, apparently to no avail.
The family hired an attorney who filed a $2 million lawsuit which the attorney says covers the price of the house, pest control, and other expenses and $1 million in punitive damages. The lawsuit says that the seller didn’t provide certain pest inspection documentation to the buyers and also didn’t inform the buyers of the issue with the snakes in the home.