A Vancouver woman has won her appeal and will not have to pay damages after she failed to tell a homebuyer that someone had been murdered on her property.
The BC Court of Appeal on Tuesday reversed a lower court ruling that had said Mei Zhen Wang had misrepresented the sale of her $6.1-million Shaughnessy mansion.
Justice Mary V. Newbury wrote in the decision that Wang could not have known that the home buyer, Feng Yun Shao, would have any “sensitivity” to the killing of her son-in-law, Raymond Huang, in 2007 and that that did not alter the quality of the home or its usefulness.
Huang was shot to death on the sidewalk outside the home’s front gate. He was reportedly involved in organized crime with the “Big Circle Boys” gang.
Wang’s daughter, Gui Ying Yuan, testified in 2018 that the family had been selling the house because her daughter was moving to another school, and did not say anything about the murder. School staff had asked that she attend a different school for safety reasons once they learned about the death.
Newbury said the trial judge made a mistake in characterizing Yuan’s statements as incomplete or designed to hid the death.
“As she testified, if her daughter’s private school had not made the unfortunate decision it did, the family likely would not have moved at all,” Newbury wrote. “Thus there was no misrepresentation by omission.
“Further, there was no evidence she knew or should have expected that Ms. Shao would have a particular sensitivity to an event that had occurred two years earlier.”
Damages for Wang, who had initially sued Shao for breach of contract, will be determined at a later date.