Suit Over Secondhand Smoke Targets Real Estate Broker

Boston resident says she was smoked out of her new $405,000 condominium. Wants her real estate broker to pay.

Palm Coast, FL – February 9, 2010 – There must be too many unemployed lawyers.

By Jonathan Saltzman: Boston Globe Staff / February 9, 2010

Alyssa Burrage says she was smoked out of her new $405,000 condominium. Burrage, a 32-year-old advertising company employee with a history of asthma, had smelled cigarettes when she first visited the bright, parlor-level condo in Boston’s South End in 2006 with her real estate broker. But the broker, she alleges, assured her that the owner must be a smoker and the stench would disappear.

After Burrage moved into the Milford Street brick row house, she says, she discovered the secondhand smoke was coming from one of two men living in the condo below. The men and the condo association refused to fix the problem, she adds, and she had to move out.

Today, in what tobacco law specialists call one of the first lawsuits of its kind to go to trial in Massachusetts, a jury is scheduled to decide whether Burrage’s real estate broker is liable for damages.

Toby’s Commentary: After reading the entire article, take the survey below.

4 replies
  1. Cyd Weeks
    Cyd Weeks says:

    What’s the agent got to do with it?

    What I do find ridiculous is to hold the broker/agent responsible for her not doing her due diligence. Since there is no requirement for the seller to disclose smoke smell and the source of it, what is the broker supposed to know about it? What if the seller was a smoker, the agent asked him and reported that back to the buyer? What has that got to do with the people downstairs? Nothing. If she smelled smoke and is that allergic to it then…buy another place.

  2. Denis Logan
    Denis Logan says:

    Carefull what you say.

    I think when the Broker gave his opinion about what the source of the smoke was and that it would go away, he stepped in it. Maybe he should have said "I don’t know", “You’ll need to check that out" or "If you think that is going to be problem for you, maybe we should look at something else". We put ourselves out there as knowledgeable, times it is best to say, I don’t know

  3. Lew
    Lew says:

    May be yes or no

    If the owner was a smoker the agent could assume the source of the detected odor is the owner. If the agent did not see the owner smoke the agent would have the responsibility to investigate the issue further.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply