So the burden is on the plaintiff to prove the elements of the claim they are making. So they would need to prove that the flooding happened pre-closing. Of course, the judge is free to interpret the facts as they deem appropriate, deciding which facts to believe and which to discredit. Normally the buyer's agent will do a walk through if the buyer is not available, and the court may decide that in the absence of concrete proof, the buyer assumed any risk in not arranging for a walk through (and then they may pursue their agent for negligence).
If the judge decides the flooding occured pre-closing, then the seller would be liable, as that would be a breach of contract. If a contractor caused the flooding, the seller can seek indemnification from them. If it is pre-closing, that would involve the insurance company.
There is a doctrine - res ipsa loquitor- meaning "the thing speaks for itself". So generally if one cannot determine how/why something happened, the person with exclusive control over the subject matter is deemed responsible. So the decision will come down to who the judge believed had control (ie ownership) of the property at the time of the event. So any evidence one has to prove that the flood occurred post-closing would be very helpful (ie affidavit from movers or other third parties that the basement was not flooded on x date)
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