Contractors suggesting litigation

I have a personal friend that I met at a BNI chapter about 5 years ago.
He is a chiropractor and I inspected his home in 2004.

Nice house and few problems. He had a sump pump buried in his back yard that I recommended evaluation as wiring was exposed & I couldn’t test the pump.

My wife recently went to his office for a routine procedure when he stated that he called a plumber to do some work on his pump.

The first things out of the plumbers mouth is to sue the inspector.

The plumber has no idea when the report was done, what was stated on the report and I am angered as this is very common with contractors.

My friend the Chiropractor pulled my report showed the plumber and asked why should he sue the inspector?

It is very common for contractors like roofers, electricians, basement waterproofing companies to sound of on the inspector.

I just emailed my chiropractor to get the plumbers name & company because I will personally call him and arrange a time where I can meet him and well lets say take out my litigation frustrations.

I ask you other inspectors. Any suggestions to lessen the litigation from contractors?

I tell my clients that just as no two home inspectors do identical inspections with identical reports, any two, for example plumbers would not always have the same opinion on a problem. I realize that I may be opening myself up to problems, but I offer names of plumbers, electricians etc. that I KNOW are good, competent contractors. EVERY client I have helped with referals has thanked me for helping them out. Some of these people are moving in from out of town and would have no idea who to call for service.


Next time you see an issue, instead of reporting as "evaluate’, I always write “Evaluate and estimate repairs”.

I ask you other inspectors. Any suggestions to lessen the litigation from contractors? **take the plumber down to the river and see if his float works. :wink: **

I would think the first thing out of his mouth would be “Where’s the sump?”.

Or even a word telling the client that the thing is broke.

I have been running into this, more and more. Contractors who just want to slam inspectors. Usually they are those who do a less than professional job.

Case in point. The Illinois Plumbing Code states that dishwashers can OLNLY be connected to drain pipes, NOT to disposers. But about half of the new construction has them connected to disposers and without high loops.

It also states that if a top plate or stud is penetrated by a pipe (like a big DWV pipe, that the stud or top plate must be structurally reinforced (not just a nail protect plate. But I see it all the time where top plates are pretty much hacked through.

Could it be that some inspectors knowing how to do the job of inspection better than some code inspectors or know how to do it right better than some plumbers is the reason? :mrgreen:

Guess we will never know.

I spoke with my client, friend and he told me that 5 city inspectors told him false information that would of cost him thousands of dollars to needlessly fix. He was smart enough to hire a friend to evaluate and give him the correct information.

They wanted him to sue the builder, realtor and Me.

I left a call with the building department and I look forward to speaking with the superindent if he has the _alls to call me back.

$10.00 says he doesn’t.

The first thing to do is sue the plumber for not substantiating the defect and practicing law without a licence!

He called me about 1 hour after I left a message and he said he would speak to his people about the false accusations.

This is were I would bet $10 that he doesn’t say anything to his people.

Double or nothing?:wink:

Sounds like a case (or two) of someone saying “lets you and him fight” so they can stay out of the line of fire. If they can point the unsuspecting customer towards other involved parties hopefully they will leave the “real guilty” parties alone.

I have received these type of calls over the years.

Have the Client ask the Contractor to put his comments…In writing, On Letterhead and Forward along to You…

I myself have made this request on more than one occasion Joe, and have yet to receive a written response. Go figure. :smiley:

Great Point!

We, by law in this state, are required to put our reports in writing.

Hold him to the same standard.

Plus, it is evidence in a court of law :mrgreen:

Can you say, “defamation of character”.

Same Here…

Well, as a builder for 10 years I have to admit that due to so many horrible inspectors writing up hundreds of rediculous reports that I’ve felt the same way in the past. In fact it was all those bad inspectors that prompted me to get into the business. So I guess my advice would be to assume that he has had to deal with an inspector/s in the past that was a numbskull and still has a nasty taste in his mouth and approach it with a little less anger and a little more understanding.

How do you approach having someone being told to sue you with less anger and more understanding? I don’t care how many numbskulls you’ve had to deal with in the past, that has nothing to do with the facts of the moment.

Chris, with respect.

As a builder, you should know when things are right and when they are wrong.

Your budget, the subs, , the work, all this, the Builder is responsible for. No excuses and no BS.

Today, unfortunately, many ‘builders’ are incompitent fools. Around here, all that is required to be a ‘licensed’ General contractor, all that is required is to obtain a 2 Mil G/L policy and pay a $35.00 licensing fee (for a year). All those who work under you (the subs) can work under your license and don’t need their own. This, most of these workers are hired from the local Home Depot parking lot.

I have no doubt that you were compitent and built good houses.

But that is not always the case and not in every area.

Clarity is more important that being right.

“Rediculous” reports are easy to disprove and discard and quite easily make the inspector look “rediculous”. It is the legitimate reports that make builders pull the money out of their pockets and set things right and seem to be the kind they resent the most. Do you not agree?