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Thread: Inspector

  1. #1
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    Default Inspector

    I Have been involved in a law suit brought about by buyer whom I did inspection for with no complaint.
    The sellers attorneys have involved me by comparative neglience. They are not recognizing my inspection agreement with buyer.
    Would appreciate any input you might have on this matter.
    Thank You L. Travis Curtis

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Inspector

    The buyer must have had some complaint, they sued you. Sorry.
    You probably need to contact your E&O provider, most require notification on any pending legal cases, or complaints that you think will lead to a court case.

    While they may not recognize your agreement, they may have to once you get to court. You need legal counsel.
    I just noticed that your license has expired. I hope you didn't do the inspection without a valid license, or without E&O insurance. That could land you in more trouble from the State.

    Last edited by Jack Feldmann; 02-26-2013 at 02:44 PM. Reason: Expired license note

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    The buyer must have had some complaint, they sued you. Sorry.
    You probably need to contact your E&O provider, most require notification on any pending legal cases, or complaints that you think will lead to a court case.

    While they may not recognize your agreement, they may have to once you get to court. You need legal counsel.
    I just noticed that your license has expired. I hope you didn't do the inspection without a valid license, or without E&O insurance. That could land you in more trouble from the State.
    The buyer is not the one suing, the seller's attorneys are, this was done in 2010, I retired at end of 2011. Thanks for your reply. Travis


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Inspector

    Travis,are they suing,because you did not have a licence,need more info for the reason they are suing you?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Janssen View Post
    Travis,are they suing,because you did not have a licence,need more info for the reason they are suing you?
    No, I was licensesd at time of inspection. Inspection was done in 2010, I retired 2011.
    My question is how does COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE allow not the one I did inspection for to sue but the one buyer is suing to sue me.
    Thanks Travis


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Inspector

    Anyone can sue anyone else. The reasons do not matter until it gets to the judge. It may get thrown out or it may prevail depending on the merits.
    As others have said, talk to a lawyer. If you had E&O you may still have coverage depending on the type, check it out.

    I have no idea about the question you asked but here is a little from Wikipedia:
    Comparative negligence, or non-absolute contributory negligence outside of the United States, is a partial legal defense that reduces the amount of damages that a plaintiff can recover in a negligence-based claim based upon the degree to which the plaintiff's own negligence contributed to cause the injury. When the defense is asserted, the fact-finder, usually a jury, must decide the degree to which the plaintiff's negligence versus the combined negligence of all other relevant actors contributed to cause the plaintiff's damages. It is a modification of the doctrine of contributory negligence which disallows any recovery by a plaintiff whose negligence contributed, even minimally, to causing the damages.
    What is the suit about? It seems the Comparative Negligence is just the theory of getting you involved. Did the buyer sue the seller or vice versa?

    Last edited by Jim Luttrall; 02-26-2013 at 06:30 PM.
    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Inspector

    Let this be an abject lesson to those on this board who claim they will never be sued because they are "so thorough".
    Sorry to say, you will probably not be liabel but it will cost you at least 200K to find that out.
    If you have a good E&O policy, it will pay for that but you will never be able to get E&O again.

    END GLOBAL WHINING

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Inspector

    This is confusing. If the house sold in 2010, why is the seller bringing suit against anyone? For what?
    You will probably need to get your insurance company involved.

    I was sued once by a person that bought a house almost 3 years after I inspected it for someone else. It did get thrown out, but it did cost me.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Anyone can sue anyone else. The reasons do not matter until it gets to the judge. It may get thrown out or it may prevail depending on the merits.
    As others have said, talk to a lawyer. If you had E&O you may still have coverage depending on the type, check it out.

    I have no idea about the question you asked but here is a little from Wikipedia:


    What is the suit about? It seems the Comparative Negligence is just the theory of getting you involved. Did the buyer sue the seller or vice versa?
    Buyer is suing seller and realator.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Inspector

    Let me take a guess here.
    Buyer found supposed known defects not disclosed by seller and realtor. Time frame for suite may be due to delayed caused that brought the defect to the attention of the buyer.

    -Buyer suing for undisclosed known defect in property.
    -HI dragged into for not finding the undisclosed defect.
    -Seller looking to HI as the HI was obligated for finding all defects.
    -Seller is not recognizing the contract because it limited the inspection on finding hidden defects.
    -Lawyer may be saying that the seller indirectly was relying on the inspection by virtue of allowing the inspection to take place, but did not sign the contract so the seller is not bound by the terms of the contract.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Let me take a guess here.
    Buyer found supposed known defects not disclosed by seller and realtor. Time frame for suite may be due to delayed caused that brought the defect to the attention of the buyer.

    -Buyer suing for undisclosed known defect in property.
    -HI dragged into for not finding the undisclosed defect.
    -Seller looking to HI as the HI was obligated for finding all defects.
    -Seller is not recognizing the contract because it limited the inspection on finding hidden defects.
    -Lawyer may be saying that the seller indirectly was relying on the inspection by virtue of allowing the inspection to take place, but did not sign the contract so the seller is not bound by the terms of the contract.
    I don't want to wear everybody out with this but it seems one comment brings on another. Buyer first contacted me 11 months after inspection and said she was not sure what was written up on first inspection and would I come back out and determine this. I explained to her what I had written up did not have to be done, it was between buyer and seller as to what has to be done.
    On visit to property they were in process of replacing sub floor and floor covering, trim etc. in master bath. Eleven months earlier I had written up crack tile, I did not report any moisture problem. Buyer assured me I would not be involved in any suit which she was then in process of doing.

    Court papers state seller ask realator if he should disclose water damage, she said no.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Inspector

    This will be interesting to hear about as it unfolds. Hope you allow us to hear the outcome.

    If the seller offered disclosure on the property and relied on the realtor to lie on known damage, the seller is on the hook. It will be hard for the seller to prove what the realtor said. Especially since the seller was the one making the declaration. Would seem that the seller is attempting to ease their liability by bringing you into their deception. It is not that they have a leg to stand on but their ability to attempt to make others responsible for their dishonest actions.

    Pretty sure Buyers contractor doing repairs in bath told Buyer that this was an old problem and that the Seller would have known about it when they sold the property. Buyer is pissed that they were lied to by the Seller and want their pound of flesh.

    Before there was disclosure documents the realtor would council the seller not to tell them (Realtor) anything negative about the property since they would be obligated to pass it along to anyone looking at the property. So mum was the word on defects and problems. If asked anything Realtor would say "I know of no problem with the property". It would be : "Caveat Emptor" and "Property Sols As Is" also "No representation by the Seller as to any aspect of the property being offered for sale".

    If the property was sold " As Is". Then it was up to the buyer to make any and all determinations about the property, good or bad.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Inspector

    I performed an inspection this week on a 1967 where I couldn't reach the breaker box. I told the buyer's agent that I could come back the next day to finish since I was going to be in that area again. One of my concerns was the presence of aluminum wiring. The buyer's agent said that the disclosure stated no aluminum wiring; why return. I insisted on returning. Sure enough, except for 4 breakers, the rest was aluminum. Not only that, a giant barbequed rat was stuck in there. Moral of the story: There's always a rat in disclosure statements.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Adame View Post
    I performed an inspection this week on a 1967 where I couldn't reach the breaker box. I told the buyer's agent that I could come back the next day to finish since I was going to be in that area again. One of my concerns was the presence of aluminum wiring. The buyer's agent said that the disclosure stated no aluminum wiring; why return. I insisted on returning. Sure enough, except for 4 breakers, the rest was aluminum. Not only that, a giant barbequed rat was stuck in there. Moral of the story: There's always a rat in disclosure statements.
    I'd always heard that aluminum wiring can be dangerous, guess it was for at least one rat.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Inspector

    FRANK

    CAN YOU PROVIDE PICTUER OF FRIED RET PLEASE

    CVF

    - - - Updated - - -

    frank
    bad finger picture of fried rat


  16. #16
    Pete Curtis's Avatar
    Pete Curtis Guest

    Default Re: Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by L. Travis Curtis View Post
    I don't want to wear everybody out with this but it seems one comment brings on another. Buyer first contacted me 11 months after inspection and said she was not sure what was written up on first inspection and would I come back out and determine this. I explained to her what I had written up did not have to be done, it was between buyer and seller as to what has to be done.
    On visit to property they were in process of replacing sub floor and floor covering, trim etc. in master bath. Eleven months earlier I had written up crack tile, I did not report any moisture problem. Buyer assured me I would not be involved in any suit which she was then in process of doing.

    Court papers state seller ask realator if he should disclose water damage, she said no.
    First, your E&O insurance provider should be involved. Second, never, NEVER, believe and accept anything said by either a seller or buyer until it is in writing and notarized. Third, be very careful about telling anyone "this doesn't have to be done." Put your comments in writing and cite code requirements, etc. When you file your report it will be the opinion of the applicable codes, not your opinion. Never be the "nice guy." Be a diligent professional, with good manners but a strict adherence to business. The buyer, in this case, may have been sincere, but the attorney is out for money - your money.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Inspector

    The "lesson" is that once lawsuits start flying, the attorneys will sue anyone and everyone in sight and see who they get lucky with. Attorneys hate it when the defendant successfully convinces the judge that some unnamed person is really the one at fault. The fact that you did not have a fiduciary responsibility or contract with the seller means nothing. The attorneys want a judge to decide and if they can get you or your E&O to throw them some money to make them go away, then they have won. Sadly, E&O are notorious for settling for your deductible.

    There's a HI in Denver that is being sued by the seller because the buyer walked away after the inspection. His trial date is set for October. One thing that few of us seriously consider until we see it happen, is being sued by someone outside of our inspection contract. The other sad truth is that having E&O makes you more vulnerable to being sued because the plaintiff knows where the pot of gold is if they can just get their hands on it. That doesn't make E&O bad or a bad idea. It's just the way things are and we grin and bear it...........or maybe grimace and bear it.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Inspector

    You may be getting sued because they think... or know ..that you have E&O insurance..
    mmmm...E&O tastes like chicken....


    don't worry...its not worth their time..enjoy your retirement..
    Tell them you are a Native American... the SOSUEME tribe...and forget about it..


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Inspector

    Travis

    What is the exact wording on the statement of claim? Is there any mention of negligent misrepresentation or contributory negligence?

    comparative negligence n. a rule of law applied in accident cases to determine responsibility and damages based on the negligence of every party directly involved in the accident. For a simple example, Eddie Leadfoot, the driver of one automobile is speeding and Rudy Airhead, the driver of an oncoming car has failed to signal and starts to turn left, incorrectly judging Leadfoot's speed. A crash ensues in which Airhead is hurt. Airhead's damage recovery will be reduced by the percentage his failure to judge Leadfoot's speed contributed to or caused the accident. Most cases are not as simple, and the formulas to figure out, attribute, and compare negligence often make assessment of damages problematical and difficult, if not downright subjective. Not all states use comparative negligence (California is a fairly recent convert), and some states still use contributory negligence which denies recovery to any party whose negligence has added to the cause of the accident in any way. Contributory negligence is often so unfair that juries tend to ignore it. (See: negligence, contributory negligence, damages)

    http://www.latitudesubro.com/misc/contributory_negligence.pdf
    Tennessee

    Modified Comparative Fault -- 50 Percent (Bar) McIntyre v. Balentine, 833 S.W.2d 52 (Tenn. 1992).

    Twenty-one (21) states follow the 51 percent bar rule, under which a damaged party cannot recover if he is 51 percent or more at fault, but can recover if he is 50 percent or less at fault. Again, the recovery would be reduced by degree of fault.

    McINTYRE v. BALENTINE*-*May 4, 1992.

    Also a search on Google using - McIntyre v. Balentine, 833 S.W.2d 52 (Tenn. 1992) brings many hits.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Inspector

    My bet is that Travis does not have tail coverage from his E&O and his coverage ended when he stopped paying for the coverage. If this is the case once the attorney finds out that he has no insurance he will most likely be dropped. Any basic attorney could help you and draft the proper letters and filings for this if you are not covered by insurance. My guess is you should expect to pay the attorney around $5k if they can get younout of it before it goes further. This type of lawsuit is called a nuisance lawsuit and are based on the assumption that you have insurance coverage.

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

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    My guess is you should expect to pay the attorney around $5k if they can get younout of it before it goes further. This type of lawsuit is called a nuisance lawsuit and are based on the assumption that you have insurance coverage.
    Pretty much the truth..... we had one a few years ago and that's within a couple hundred bucks of what it cost in attorney's fees.

    Attorney sues everyone in sight and just waits to see who ponies up with the coverage.

    OP, if you don't have coverage I wouldn't fret too much. As Scott says they'll drop you once they realize there's not money to go after.


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