Arichitect guilty of involuntary manslaughter for design

Interesting article. The architect / owner of the home was found / plead guilty in death of fireman.

I guess manufacturer’s installation instructions do matter.

Thanks for that link

Interesting story and stupid move by the architect.

Now why was the code inspector not charged?:shock:

It may have had something to do with the fact that the owner / architect would remove things after the inspections were signed off. Not sure what their thinking was on that one.

Well the inspector had acccess to the plans, right?

You would think so. But it is Hollywood Hills. $$$$ has a voice. And does the city want to sue itself? Criminal charges should have been brought but they protect their own. It sure would open up a can of worms, that’s for sure.

another sad case of oversight negligence & no justice from the courts…follow the money

reality: building inspectors have little obligation or responsibility other than to approve property improvements so the tax revenue increases

here’s an older excerpt from my website on this topic

It is commonly perceived that the building permits that are routinely issued by city public agencies for construction work certify that the building or “work of improvement” is quality built, safely constructed, manufacture instructions are followed and that all of the relevant building and state Health & Safety Code requirements have been met.

The reality behind what a building permit represents, however, is quite different. Under current statutory schemes, local municipalities and city public agencies are essentially stripped of any responsibility for the work performed by their building inspector employees and the permits that these inspectors issue. In truth, a building permit is little more than a statement by the local municipality that the owner or developer who contracted for the work of improvement has paid the requisite fees to the local public agency. A building permit does not represent that the construction that was undertaken is safe and free from defects or that all of the necessary building codes have been strictly complied with. Nor does the issuance of a building permit by a public agency guarantee or even factually state that your home, building, remodeling or work of improvement is safe, free from any defects, and is code compliant.

Building Officials and those issuing building permits are protected by the Principle of Sovereign Immunity. Founded on the ancient principle that “the King can do no wrong,” sovereign immunity is a judicially created doctrine which precludes private parties from bringing suit against the government for the torts of its officers or agents unless the government waives its immunity by statute.

I offer a Seven-Part Phase Inspection for new construction that complies to the Texas Real Estate Commission Standards of Practice along with the guidelines from the Texas Department of Insurance

These generally exceed the local building inspection departments’ standards. Other trades persons often omit, improperly install system components or alter, bore, cut, and notch structural materials to get their systems installed. All of this is done with “Green Tag” approval by the City Building Inspection Department or Authority Having Jurisdiction. Other defects not limited to but including items that allow air leakage and moisture intrusion may also be built into your home. These latent defects compromise the integrity of your property and have been documented in total loss of entire properties and the monies invested!

That’s a fascinating article but it does seem like a weak case. The whole case seems to hinge on fire blocking which wasn’t installed and allowed fire into the attic causing the ceiling to collapse sooner than the firefighters expected. How do you know where to assign blame for that? The carpenter? His apprentice? Migrant workers? GC? Inspector? Architect? Not sure that precedent would be a good one.

In most States code officials have no liability for anything they do or don’t do

Same here Charley!

I knew that.

Isn’t government regulation wonderful? :sarcasm:


I would agree that normally the AHJ has no liability from the person buying / building the home. This is slightly different as it is a criminal case and the jurisdiction (City or County) would be prosecuting one of their own departments / employees. Now if it is the State prosecuting a City / County employee, that also might be different. States sue Cities / Counties for various reasons.

Either way, it doesn’t look like the inspector is going to be charged or it would have been done by now.

City Inspectors are generally horrible.