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Condo owner loses secondhand smoke suit against real estate agent

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A Boston condo buyer has lost a closely-watched lawsuit against her former real estate agent over secondhand smoke coming from a downstairs unit.

As we wrote last week, the buyer of a $405,000 condo unit claimed that the listing agent had lied about the source of smoky stench that permeated the apartment, attributing it to the seller and offering assurances that it would go away.

The 32-year-old buyer, who suffers from asthma, had sought $70,000 to cover renovation costs, personal injuries, and emotional distress.

Yesterday, a Massachusetts jury rejected her claim after a trial in which the real estate agent denied discussing secondhand smoke with the buyer.

Still, the case is likely to make real estate agents everywhere more careful about how they respond to concerns about secondhand smoke.

“I think the fact that the case went as far as it did underscores how serious an issue this is,” Edward L. Sweda Jr., senior staff attorney for the Tobacco Products Liability Project at the Northeastern University School of Law, told the Boston Globe.

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