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  1. #1
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    Default Keep your old reports handy

    Got a call yesterday from a client who bought a home back in 2004. She had an engineer at her home and he said that her kitchen vent stack was improply flashed (barrel tile roof) and of course should have been reported on her insepction report when she bought the home. Of course he could see this now that the kitchen ceiling has collapsed.

    She sent me his report. His drawing is a mirror image of the one we drew and marked of a leak in exactly the same spot. She never repaired the roof because "the leak was not inside the home". Now she has a $30,000 repair bill for something that could have been prevente for $995.00 back then.

    I did ask her how the inspector was supposed to know the vent stack was imporperly flashed, as we did not have the luxury of the ceiling being opened. I have not yet heard back from her.

    Similar Threads:
    OREP Home Inspector E&O Insurance
    Bill Siegel
    Florida Home Inspection Team Inc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Healdsburg, CA
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    Default Re: Keep your old reports handy

    The California Civil Code Section 7195-99 nails the statue of limitations to 4 years from the date of inspection. It's a good day for all California real estate inspectors when the 4th year aniversery rolls around after retiring from the trenches. (the shredder works overtime for the written copies) (still have all mine backed-up on disk) (bet Jerry P does too?)

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  3. #3
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    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Keep your old reports handy

    Several of the licensed states have 1 year limit of liability, and a few have 3 year limits. Here in Tennessee the three ASHI Chapters are working on a 1 year limit addendum for the upcoming state legislative calender, right now it is not in the law and it defaults to 5 years under the civil code.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: Keep your old reports handy

    One year in PA from the date of the inspection.


  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Keep your old reports handy

    Interesting information guys. Thanks. I am sure that if Jerry P sees this post he will most likely enlighten me as to our liability. I thougt according to Mr Hooper a while back we were on the hook for more than your years.

    Bill Siegel
    Florida Home Inspection Team Inc.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2007
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    Connecticut
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    Default Re: Keep your old reports handy

    I'm thinking of changing my inspection company name to Dan HIcks And His Hot LIcks Home iNspection Services, our motto " How can I miss you if you won't go away?"
    I know a few of you will get that one.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Keep your old reports handy

    Wayne,

    Where are you located up there. I grew up in Cheshire

    Bill Siegel
    Florida Home Inspection Team Inc.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Keep your old reports handy

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    (the shredder works overtime for the written copies) (still have all mine backed-up on disk) (bet Jerry P does too?)
    Jerry Mc.,

    I have not kept 'printed' copies of reports since around 1994-95 when I started doing them on my computer in the field, which was a challenge back then (and why I wrote my own program).

    On disk? Yes, on about 3 hard drives and some on CDs.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
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    719

    Default Re: Keep your old reports handy

    I had heard TX's statute was 4 yrs. Does anyone know if that is true or not?


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Keep your old reports handy

    Quote Originally Posted by william siegel View Post
    I am sure that if Jerry P sees this post he will most likely enlighten me as to our liability. I thougt according to Mr Hooper a while back we were on the hook for more than your years.
    Bill,

    I think you are thinking of what Jeff pointed out as is the liability for architects, engineers, contractors for the "design, planning, or construction" ... 4 years, or up to 15 years if, ... 15 years is the drop dead date, but that could be as little as 4 years.

    (underlining is mine)
    (3) WITHIN FOUR YEARS.--
    (c) An action founded on the design, planning, or construction of an improvement to real property, with the time running from the date of actual possession by the owner, the date of the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, the date of abandonment of construction if not completed, or the date of completion or termination of the contract between the professional engineer, registered architect, or licensed contractor and his or her employer, whichever date is latest; except that, when the action involves a latent defect, the time runs from the time the defect is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence. In any event, the action must be commenced within 15 years after the date of actual possession by the owner, the date of the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, the date of abandonment of construction if not completed, or the date of completion or termination of the contract between the professional engineer, registered architect, or licensed contractor and his or her employer, whichever date is latest.


    This is what I think applies. I think Jeff also did it like this too. (bold and underlining are mine)


    95.11 Limitations other than for the recovery of real property.
    --Actions other than for recovery of real property shall be commenced as follows:
    - (1) WITHIN TWENTY YEARS.--An action on a judgment or decree of a court of record in this state.
    - (2) WITHIN FIVE YEARS.--
    - - (a) An action on a judgment or decree of any court, not of record, of this state or any court of the United States, any other state or territory in the United States, or a foreign country.
    - - (b) A legal or equitable action on a contract, obligation, or liability founded on a written instrument, except for an action to enforce a claim against a payment bond, which shall be governed by the applicable provisions of ss. 255.05(2)(a)2. and 713.23(1)(e).
    - - (c) An action to foreclose a mortgage.
    - (3) WITHIN FOUR YEARS.--
    - - (a) An action founded on negligence.
    - - (b) An action relating to the determination of paternity, with the time running from the date the child reaches the age of majority.
    - - (c) An action founded on the design, planning, or construction of an improvement to real property, with the time running from the date of actual possession by the owner, the date of the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, the date of abandonment of construction if not completed, or the date of completion or termination of the contract between the professional engineer, registered architect, or licensed contractor and his or her employer, whichever date is latest; except that, when the action involves a latent defect, the time runs from the time the defect is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence. In any event, the action must be commenced within 15 years after the date of actual possession by the owner, the date of the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, the date of abandonment of construction if not completed, or the date of completion or termination of the contract between the professional engineer, registered architect, or licensed contractor and his or her employer, whichever date is latest.
    - - (d) An action to recover public money or property held by a public officer or employee, or former public officer or employee, and obtained during, or as a result of, his or her public office or employment.
    - - (e) An action for injury to a person founded on the design, manufacture, distribution, or sale of personal property that is not permanently incorporated in an improvement to real property, including fixtures.
    - - (f) An action founded on a statutory liability.
    - - (g) An action for trespass on real property.
    - - (h) An action for taking, detaining, or injuring personal property.
    - - (i) An action to recover specific personal property.
    - - (j) A legal or equitable action founded on fraud.
    - - (k) A legal or equitable action on a contract, obligation, or liability not founded on a written instrument, including an action for the sale and delivery of goods, wares, and merchandise, and on store accounts.
    - - (l) An action to rescind a contract.
    - - (m) An action for money paid to any governmental authority by mistake or inadvertence.
    - - (n) An action for a statutory penalty or forfeiture.
    - - (o) An action for assault, battery, false arrest, malicious prosecution, malicious interference, false imprisonment, or any other intentional tort, except as provided in subsections (4), (5), and (7).
    - - (p) Any action not specifically provided for in these statutes.
    - (4) WITHIN TWO YEARS.--
    - - (a) An action for professional malpractice, other than medical malpractice, whether founded on contract or tort; provided that the period of limitations shall run from the time the cause of action is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence. However, the limitation of actions herein for professional malpractice shall be limited to persons in privity with the professional.
    - - (b) An action for medical malpractice shall be commenced within 2 years from the time the incident giving rise to the action occurred or within 2 years from the time the incident is discovered, or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence; however, in no event shall the action be commenced later than 4 years from the date of the incident or occurrence out of which the cause of action accrued, except that this 4-year period shall not bar an action brought on behalf of a minor on or before the child's eighth birthday. An "action for medical malpractice" is defined as a claim in tort or in contract for damages because of the death, injury, or monetary loss to any person arising out of any medical, dental, or surgical diagnosis, treatment, or care by any provider of health care. The limitation of actions within this subsection shall be limited to the health care provider and persons in privity with the provider of health care. In those actions covered by this paragraph in which it can be shown that fraud, concealment, or intentional misrepresentation of fact prevented the discovery of the injury the period of limitations is extended forward 2 years from the time that the injury is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence, but in no event to exceed 7 years from the date the incident giving rise to the injury occurred, except that this 7-year period shall not bar an action brought on behalf of a minor on or before the child's eighth birthday. This paragraph shall not apply to actions for which ss. 766.301-766.316 provide the exclusive remedy.
    - - (c) An action to recover wages or overtime or damages or penalties concerning payment of wages and overtime.
    - - (d) An action for wrongful death.
    - - (e) An action founded upon a violation of any provision of chapter 517, with the period running from the time the facts giving rise to the cause of action were discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence, but not more than 5 years from the date such violation occurred.
    - - (f) An action for personal injury caused by contact with or exposure to phenoxy herbicides while serving either as a civilian or as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States during the period January 1, 1962, through May 7, 1975; the period of limitations shall run from the time the cause of action is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence.
    - - (g) An action for libel or slander.
    - (5) WITHIN ONE YEAR.--
    - - (a) An action for specific performance of a contract.
    - - (b) An action to enforce an equitable lien arising from the furnishing of labor, services, or material for the improvement of real property.
    - - (c) An action to enforce rights under the Uniform Commercial Code--Letters of Credit, chapter 675.
    - - (d) An action against any guaranty association and its insured, with the period running from the date of the deadline for filing claims in the order of liquidation.
    - - (e) An action to enforce any claim against a payment bond on which the principal is a contractor, subcontractor, or sub-subcontractor as defined in s. 713.01, for private work as well as public work, from the last furnishing of labor, services, or materials or from the last furnishing of labor, services, or materials by the contractor if the contractor is the principal on a bond on the same construction project, whichever is later.
    (f) Except for actions described in subsection (8), a petition for extraordinary writ, other than a petition challenging a criminal conviction, filed by or on behalf of a prisoner as defined in s. 57.085.
    - - (g) Except for actions described in subsection (8), an action brought by or on behalf of a prisoner, as defined in s. 57.085, relating to the conditions of the prisoner's confinement.
    - (6) LACHES.--Laches shall bar any action unless it is commenced within the time provided for legal actions concerning the same subject matter regardless of lack of knowledge by the person sought to be held liable that the person alleging liability would assert his or her rights and whether the person sought to be held liable is injured or prejudiced by the delay. This subsection shall not affect application of laches at an earlier time in accordance with law.
    - (7) FOR INTENTIONAL TORTS BASED ON ABUSE.--An action founded on alleged abuse, as defined in s. 39.01, s. 415.102, or s. 984.03, or incest, as defined in s. 826.04, may be commenced at any time within 7 years after the age of majority, or within 4 years after the injured person leaves the dependency of the abuser, or within 4 years from the time of discovery by the injured party of both the injury and the causal relationship between the injury and the abuse, whichever occurs later.
    - (8) WITHIN 30 DAYS FOR ACTIONS CHALLENGING CORRECTIONAL DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS.--Any court action challenging prisoner disciplinary proceedings conducted by the Department of Corrections pursuant to s. 944.28(2) must be commenced within 30 days after final disposition of the prisoner disciplinary proceedings through the administrative grievance process under chapter 33, Florida Administrative Code. Any action challenging prisoner disciplinary proceedings shall be barred by the court unless it is commenced within the time period provided by this section.


    Thus it's 1 year, 2 years, or 4 years, depending on the cause of the action. Most would start out at 1 year and the attorney would try to find a way to bump it up to 4 years. The first line of defense, then, would be to bump it back down to 1 year if at all possible, if that fails, and it was not a "wrongful death", then you would skip over 2 years and go to 4 years.

    I am not quite at two years, but ... ... because I was only averaging about 50 to 100 inspections the last few years, my liability is already WAY DOWN.

    Of course, though, the prices of the homes I inspected - all it would take would be *1* ...


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Miami, Florida
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    230

    Default Re: Keep your old reports handy

    Jerry,

    Amazing post. Thanks!!


    Bill

    Bill Siegel
    Florida Home Inspection Team Inc.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: Keep your old reports handy

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    One year in PA from the date of the inspection.
    Except for Structural, right, Nick? Or has that changed?

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    25,317

    Default Re: Keep your old reports handy

    Bill,

    I underlined this part "(f) An action founded on a statutory liability" because, with licensing comes "statutory liability", this did not used to affect us.

    Regardless, though, it is still in the 4 years section.

    These are the things which kick it up to 4 years:

    (a) An action founded on negligence.

    (j) A legal or equitable action founded on fraud.

    and the good old 'if we forgot to address it specifically, we're sticking it here' (p) Any action not specifically provided for in these statutes.

    The attorney will try to prove 'fraud' (hard to do) or 'negligence' (not as hard to do) so they can get out of the one year limitation for (a) An action for specific performance of a contract.

    It is possible to prove that the 'negligence' is really 'specific performance' of a contract (depends on what it was and what the contract stated), and, if that were done, then the limit of liability is dropped back to one year.

    Of course, though, there is that fall back position for them of 'if the legislators forgot or didn't think about including it' - then it's back to 4 years.


    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 10-25-2007 at 05:49 AM.
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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