Maryland Snake House Lawsuit Settled

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Maryland Snake House Lawsuit Settled

Terms regarding the settlement were not disclosed.

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The lawsuit against a Maryland real estate agent and her mother over a house that was “infested” with snakes has been settled out of court, just days before it was scheduled to go to trial. The terms of the settlement were undisclosed.

Jeffrey and Jody Brooks filed a $2 million lawsuit in 2015 against real estate agent Barbara Van Horn and her mother Joan Broseker, claiming in the lawsuit that the duo withheld knowledge about a snake infestation in the house that was purchased by the Brookses. 

black rat snake

Matt Jeppson/Shutterstock

Black rat snakes such as this were found in the home purchased by the Brookses.

The Brookses purchased the house for $410,000 in Annapolis, Maryland in December 2014 and found more than 12 black rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta) living in the house.  The couple then filed the lawsuit against Van Horn, who filed a lawsuit of her own in hopes of having the case against her dismissed.

The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning that the Brookses could not sue Barbara Van Horn or her mother, Joan Broseker, in the future for any claims regarding the house. 


"The parties agreed to settle, each for their own reasons," Broseker's attorney, Robert J. Fuoco, told the Capital Gazette. "You never know what a jury is going to do."