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CONSUMER PROTECTION a homeowner whose ceiling began leaking less than a week after she bought her house was awarded $31,460 in damages and $105,000 in attorney fees by a Texas jury on June 5. Tia Stidman alleged that sellers Greg and Michelle Crawford and their agents failed to disclose defects, including mold, plumbing leaks and defective siding. She sued them for fraud, negligent misrepresentation and Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act violations. The Crawfords were found liable, but their agents were not. Stidman’s agent, Edward Loomis, was found 30% responsible, but he and his business, Remax Advantage Associates, had already settled. House inspector Larry Smith was nonsuited during trial. Stidman v. Crawford, No. 2002-61599 (Harris Co., Texas, Dist. Ct.). PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEY: Ashish Mahendru, Mahendru, Houston DEFENSE ATTORNEYS: Carl Dore, Dore & Associates, Houston; Scott Patterson, Giessel, Barker & Lyman, Houston; Richard White, Buckley, Mathews, White & Howell, Houston; Evin G. Dugas, Dugas & Inselmann, Houston

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