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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    Default IL AHJs not responsilbe for fatal inspection oversights

    CHICAGO -- The city of Chicago will not be held liable for damages in dozens of lawsuits filed after a porch collapsed in Lincoln Park in 2003, according to an Illinois Appellate Court ruling released Wednesday.The ruling stems from 38 lawsuits filed on behalf of people killed and injured when a porch collapsed during a party at 713 W. Wrightwood. Thirteen people were killed in the collapse, which happened June 29, 2003.The city was sued for negligent inspection of the porch, according to a release by the city's law department.

    The court rejected plaintiff's assertions that the city was liable for the injuries, which happened on private property.The court held that while the law requires that owners of private property adhere to certain duties with respect to the safety of their property, the law does not require a municipality to ensure that private property is safe, according to the release.The defendants plan to file an appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court.The plaintiffs also sued L.G. Properties Co., the owner of the building where the collapse happened, as well as the people who constructed the porch. Wednesday's ruling does not affect those other lawsuits.

    <http://www.nbc5.com/news/13800259/detail.html>

    (Brought to my attention by Will Decker)

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: IL AHJs not responsilbe for fatal inspection oversights

    Why "passed city inspection" <> "safe" or "correct".


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: IL AHJs not responsilbe for fatal inspection oversights

    That decision was likely based on precedent. One set here in Florida.

    Back in 1978 (I think it was) the city of Hialeah was sued as part of an action involving a project which was constructed with 4" thick concrete walls where 6" thick concrete walls should have been used.

    Everyone involved was sued (naturally), and the Florida Supreme Court ruled that municipal inspections are not intended to verify that each and every item and portion of a given structure is 'up to code minimum', but that their inspections are there for 'oversight with regards to the population in general, i.e., that your building does not negatively impact the area around it.

    The city was released from the lawsuit. That precedent has been used in many cases around the country to help cities protect themselves from similar lawsuits.

    Ever since then, actually, ever since I heard about that case, in the early 1990s, I used that to show why a home inspection WAS needed. That when a builder says 'it passed inspection', that is only saying 'well, if this place falls down, it will not negatively affect the area around it', not that 'this was built right'.

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

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