ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey couple who claim they were scared away from their home after receiving creepy letters from someone named “The Watcher” can move forward with a lawsuit against the home’s former owners, a Superior Court judge ruled on Thursday.
Judge Camille Kenny rejected a motion to dismiss the lawsuit but threw out some of the claims made by Derek and Maria Broaddus, including their contentions that ex-owners John and Andrea Woods intentionally or negligently caused emotional distress when they sold the house in June 2014, NJ.com reported.
Derek and Maria Broaddus, who have three children, bought the house in Westfield for nearly $1.4 million, but they refused to move in due to three eerie letters they said they received from a person with a “mentally disturbed fixation” on the home.
They have claimed that one of the letters they received read: “Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested? Once I know their names I will call to them and draw them too (sic) me.” The person signs the letters as “The Watcher.”
The couple claims the Woods were aware of the person and should have warned them about a letter they received from the person who claimed ownership of the home.
The Woods’ attorney, Richard Kaplow, said state law didn’t require his clients to disclose an off-site social condition.
Kenny’s ruling indicated there may be little evidence that the previous owners knew about the letters.
“The linchpin of this case is that one letter,” Kenny said, noting that Andrea Woods had disclosed the letter and went to the police with Maria Broaddus to make a report after closing on the house.
If that letter is the only information the sellers had, Kenney said, the Woods can seek a summary judgment of the case in their favor.