ANNAPOLIS, Md. (CN) – After discovering a desecrated cemetery on their property, homeowners have the right to sue the original sellers for fraudulent concealment, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled.
Highland Development Co. redrew the plans for the home on Lot 20 after discovering a cemetery on the property that dated back to the 1700s. The developers also removed and discarded the headstones.
James Rhee and his family bought the property in 1991 from the initial purchasers, who never knew they were living over a cemetery. He discovered the existence of the cemetery in 2004, when he spoke to someone who was involved in the development of the subdivision.
The trial court dismissed the Rhees’ claim, stating that Highland made no statements to the Rhees and had no duty to them.
Judge Eyler disagreed, citing Highland’s actions to conceal the cemetery.
“The appellees desecrated the cemetery and then affirmatively acted to hide its presence,” Eyler wrote, “sufficiently (stating) a cause of action for fraudulent concealment.”