A homeowner from Pennsylvania is suing the seller of the house for failing to disclose that a murder-suicide had occurred inside.
59-year-old Janet Milliken, of California, moved to Thornton, Pennsylvania in June 2007, ABC News reports. She bought a home for $610,000 (€454,000), and was not aware about what she calls the residence's “bloody past.”
She claims Joseph and Kathleen Jacono made the “deliberate choice not to disclose the home's recent past.”
She was only alerted about what had occurred inside when a neighbor chronicled the house's gruesome past. The couple also made a profit from selling the house, which they bought for $450,000 (€335,000) in 2006, after the murder occurred.
“Having a gunshot murder-suicide committed within the home is much more devastating than having a small leak concealed by the previous homeowner. [...] Physical defects can be fixed.
“Troubling events that could and did occur in this home could never go away,” Milliken argues.
She delayed letting her children know about the history of the house they were living in. They ended up finding out from friends, and were scared.
“They were very upset upon learning about it and disturbed about the whole situation,” Milliken's attorney Tim Rayne stated.
Having already lost the case, he believes that owners and real estate agents should have the obligation to disclose information of this nature when attempting to sell a property. He has taken the appeal to the Supreme Court.
“While the issue is interesting, the number of times it comes up does not warrant Supreme Court review.
“The Superior Court opinion provides guidance for any real estate transaction in the future and puts to rest the uncertainty of whether a seller has a duty to disclose a murder-suicide. […] In my opinion, the result is a good one,” Jaconos lawyer Abraham Reich explains.