Downpayment Dispute Decision – 5/26/20

The Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Hon. Denise M. Molia) has granted summary judgment to a seller on a breach of contract action over the downpayment, in Fryer v. Murphy.   The action involved a contract to purchase property in Water Mill, NY.  The purchaser refused to close on the purchase, citing an alleged finding of mold as her excuse.   The seller brought an action to recover the down payment as “liquidated damages” and moved for summary judgment on the ground that the purchaser agreed to take the property in “as is” condition and did not negotiate for any mold-free clause in the contract.  Justice Molia agreed with the seller, found the purchaser in breach of the contract, and awarded the seller the full amount of the down payment as liquidated damages.