InterNACHI continues to fight for inspectors in Homesafe infrared litigation.

Background

For years Homesafe Inspection, Inc. sent letters to home inspectors claiming it owned the exclusive right to use infrared technology in home inspections. In 2013, when InterNACHI learned that Homesafe had sued an InterNACHI member, InterNACHI immediately reached out to Homesafe and negotiated an agreement that protected all InterNACHI members.

In 2015, Homesafe sued InterNACHI in a Mississippi state court, claiming InterNACHI had breached the agreement. InterNACHI denied Homesafe’s allegations and demanded a jury trial. The trial will take place in November.

The Court Rules InterNACHI Can Sue Homesafe for Fraud

After InterNACHI and Homesafe exchanged documents, InterNACHI asked the court to allow it to file a counterclaim against Homesafe for fraudulent misrepresentation. InterNACHI claimed Homesafe misrepresented the scope of its patents by falsely claiming it owned the exclusive right to use IR technology in home inspections. The Court granted InterNACHI’s motion asking permission to file a counterclaim based on fraud.

**The Court Rules InterNACHI Can Sue Homesafe’s President for Fraud **

InterNACHI also asked the court for permission to sue Homesafe’s President, Kevin Seddon, in his personal capacity for fraudulently misrepresenting the scope of Homesafe’s patents to induce InterNACHI to enter into the agreement. The Court granted InterNACHI’s request to sue Mr. Seddon personally.

The Court Warns Homesafe to Answer Questions

Recently, the court warned Homesafe and Seddon concerning their refusal to answer deposition questions posed by InterNACHI’s General Counsel, Mark Cohen, concerning the extent of Homesafe’s claimed rights in infrared technology.

Cohen and InterNACHI’s Founder, Nick Gromicko, spent four days in Mississippi for depositions arising out of Homesafe’s suit against InterNACHI. Mr. Gromicko answered all questions Homesafe’s lawyers put to him.

However, the next day, when Cohen questioned Seddon about just exactly what rights Homesafe claims to own pertaining to IR technology, Seddon refused to answer. Cohen then suspended the deposition and eight people waited one hour while InterNACHI’s local counsel, Larry Little, attempted to get the judge on the phone.

The judge was in the middle of a jury trial, but graciously took time to have a conference call with the attorneys at his first opportunity. After hearing argument from both sides, the court agreed that Cohen’s questions seemed relevant and warned Homesafe, Seddon, and their lawyers that if the court later determined that Seddon’s refusal to answer was wrongful, the court would order Homesafe and Seddon to pay all of InterNACHI’s costs and attorney’s fees to return to Mississippi to continue the deposition. The lawyers for Homesafe and Seddon then agreed to allow Seddon to answer Cohen’s questions, but only if InterNACHI agreed that the deposition would be sealed so the public could not see Seddon’ answers. Rather than waste everyone’s time and money, InterNACHI agreed to the gag order demanded by Homesafe and Seddon.

Because of the gag order Homesafe and Seddon insisted on as a condition of answering questions, InterNACHI cannot now reveal Seddon’s testimony. However, InterNACHI intends to file a motion to unseal relevant portions of the deposition so InterNACHI’s 15,000 + members, and all other home inspectors around the world, can see Seddon’s answers to InterNACHI’s questions, which are of interest to all home inspectors due to Homesafe’s longstanding pattern of threatening to sue home inspectors for using any form of IR technology.

What To Do in the Meantime

If you signed a licensing agreement with Homesafe, or if Homesafe threatened to sue you, please call InterNACHI’s General Counsel, Mark Cohen, immediately at (303) 638-3410 or email him at mark@cohenslaw.com. InterNACHI will help any member Homesafe sues.

After reviewing Homesafe’s patents and consulting with experts, InterNACHI is confident Homesafe does NOT own the exclusive right to IR technology in home inspections. In fact, InterNACHI’s expert, Jim Seffrin of the Infraspection Institute, states Homesafe’s patents are neither reflective of accepted industry practice or published standards that have been in place for several years.

InterNACHI will keep its members informed of developments in the case, subject to the gag order Homesafe and Seddon demanded as a condition of answering InterNACHI’s questions.

Fantastic work Nick and Mark, thanks very much for your time and efforts.
Who else would stand up to these bums but InterNachi!

Goo stuff Nick an Mark. I just on’t see how a gag order could be ordered though, as the patent in question itself is public ?..hummm strange, but interesting nonetheless.

Kuos to you Nick… great work…

Jim

Good work Mark, Nick and Jim!

Hmmmmm… I smell cooked goose and it’s almost time to serve it.

Maybe I am ignorant to civil law. Just find it odd things that a person can be sued for.

So grateful for you all!

Thank you for stepping up and carrying the load. It has always amazed me how Fluke and Flir as well as other inspector organizations have failed to step up to help the inspection industry on this issue. Keep up the good work.

Now that we’re the lone national association, it’s our job.

Nice work guys

What happened to ASHI ? are they also gone ?

Jim

Basically. Their website is still up. For the good of the entire industry, they should take down their site IMHO.

It appears these lawsuits and counter-lawsuits will wrap up by May of 2017 unless a settlement is reached, in which case it will be over even earlier. InterNACHI is only going to settle if HomeSafe relinquishes the patents to InterNACHI. It is a condition of us dropping our lawsuits against the owner of HomeSafe (the Judge ruled that we were free to sue the owner personally).

If we get ownership of the patents, and I think we will… I, on behalf of InterNACHI, am hereby publicly promising to make the patents public domain.

Sweet.

And as they should be, because the patent office should have never accepted their false claims. But whatever, it’s nice to know a wrong is being corrected.

Smooth, huh Robert? :slight_smile:

…like Ex-lax.

:slight_smile:

We first protected all the members with a licensing agreement (those InterNACHI pieces are now safe). Then we used a countersuit to lock HomeSafe in the cage with me (HomeSafe dropping their suit doesn’t get them out) while InterNACHI charges at their owner, personally. In chess it’s called a “relative pin.”

I remember it well.
You played the perfect gambit!
Lots of unfounded speculation but that’s all over.:slight_smile:
Nick, your the king, Just awaiting check mate.

I’m sure InterNACHI members including myself appreciate the effort you put forth to protect our businesses. Thanks Nick.

Apparently that motion to unseal relevant portions of the deposition was unsuccessful. Now, after 2.5 years of endless motions and legal wrangling it appears that the HomeSafe -vs- InterNACHI breach of contract lawsuit is finally going to trial. A rescheduled trial date of 3/12/2018 has been set.