Plaintiff Stambovsky purchased a home from Ackley, who was represented by Ellis Realty. After entering the contract but before closing, Stambovsky learned that the house was said to be possessed by poltergeists, reportedly seen by Ackley and her family on numerous occasions over the previous nine years. As a resident of New York City, Stambovsky was unaware that apparitions seen by the Ackleys were reported in the Reader’s Digest and the local press of Nyack, New York. In 1989, the house was also included on a five-home walking tour, in which the house was described as “a riverfront Victorian (with ghost).” Stambovsky brought an action for rescission of the contract, arguing that the reputation of the house impaired the present value of the property and its resale value.
1. Which primary ethical norm was guiding the judge’s reasoning in the majority opinion?
Clue: Consider the factors the judge discussed in favoring the plaintiff’s interests over the defendant’s interests.
2. To further illustrate the significance of ethical norms, to which ethical norm did the dissenting judge give highest priority?
Clue: Similar to the first question, why do you think the judge elevated the defendant’s interests over the plaintiff’s interests?
3. What missing information would help you better evaluate the court’s reasoning?
Clue: Find the reasons the plaintiff provides for rescission of the contract.What omitted evidence could have made the plaintiff’s case more convincing?