That’s the Problem, there was NO CANCER CLAUSE!
Saw this in a recent What’s Your Problem? column in the Trib. regarding a builder’s failure to return an elderly couple's earnest money deposit. A sad tale, the husband got cancer and subsequently died and thus the couple didn’t want to purchase the home. The potential buyer’s relied on the developer’s oral promise that they’d refund the earnest money if the gentleman got cancer. I read that in the end they did get 3/4 of the deposit back.
But really, would you expect a developer to honor an oral promise regarding an earnest money refund? Get it in writing!