A Florida couple claim a Las Vegas property owner misled them about the bark scorpions infesting a home he sold them.
Last summer, Gareth Thomas and Chola Reavley-Thomas purchased an east valley home owned by the Hafenrichter Family Trust, of which Gordon Hafenrichter is the sole trustee.
According to a lawsuit the couple filed this fall, the seller’s disclosures included no mention of prior infestations or “conditions or aspects of the property which materially affect its value or use in an adverse manner.”
The couple specifically asked Hafenrichter through a real estate agent if he had ever seen scorpions on the property, according to the complaint. The real estate agent said he had not.
Neither Hafenrichter nor a spokesperson for the Hafenrichter Family Trust could be reached for comment.
The couple closed the deal and moved into the home the same day, the complaint states, and immediately found several venomous Arizona bark scorpions. An exterminator hired by Thomas and Reavly-Thomas determined that the property was infested.
Exhibits included with the complaint show photos of some of the nearly 50 Arizona bark scorpions collected around the home by exterminators, as well as invoices from the pest control company documenting the presence of the scorpions.
One exhibit is a screenshot of a text from a real estate agent that states “seller has seen NO scorpions,” but another series of screenshots shows a text conversation between Reavley-Thomas and an exterminator who claims that he had previously handled scorpion infestations on the property.
The couple eventually sold the home.
Thomas and Reavley-Thomas are seeking upward of $15,000 in damages based on claims of fraud, negligence, misrepresentation, and the breach of good faith and fair dealing. The case is pending in Clark County District Court.