(CN) - A homebuyer can proceed with a lawsuit after buying a house made of rotting logs, the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled.
William and Abby Odom bought a home in 2005 from Harold and Patsy Oliver. While the Olivers owned the home, they had covered its interior with sheetrock, so the logs were no longer visible. The logs were already covered with vinyl on the outside of the home.
After the Odoms' home suffered wind damage in 2006, an inspector informed them that 60 percent of their home's structure was composed of rotting logs.
The Odoms did not conduct an inspection before buying the house, and they concede that the sellers did not know the logs inside the house were rotting.
The Odoms sued to rescind the purchase agreement. The trial court granted summary judgment to the Olivers, but Judge Farmer reversed.
"The question of whether the log construction is a material fact," Farmer wrote, "and the question of whether the log construction could have been discovered in the exercise of ordinary diligence are two inquiries that raise a genuine issue of material fact of whether Sellers had a duty to disclose."
Farmer cleared the realtors of wrongdoing, noting that Todd Pulse and Results Realty could not be expected to know that a log home covered with vinyl would suffer structural problems.
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