Judge Alex

Anyone catch the Judge Alex show on Fox yesterday?(yea, I know…way too much time on my hands:roll: ) Home buyer suing inspection company for over 4 grand for roof and drywall repairs.
Inspection company provided report that stated areas around chimney and plumbing vents needed repair and could allow moisture. Attic was not inspected due to ??? low ceiling height. (i think) pics showed obvious moisture stains on ceiling near chimney and in bath.
Homeowners did not address these issues with seller but sued inspection co when drywall crumbled trying to paint ceiling.
Judge Alex ruled that issues were brought up in report-homeowners did not address and inspection co not responsable-he also stated that they signed the contract and even if inspection co was responsable, it would only be for price of inspection-due to liability limit addressed in contract.
:smiley: Judge Alex rocks! If only it worked that way in real life!

Are you sure that it doesn’t? So far on our message board, I’ve only read claims from E&O insurance salesmen and “liability limiting” software who claim otherwise.

Out of our 12,000 (or thereabouts) NACHI inspections per day…how many inspectors are really getting hammered in law suits?

For the sake of argument (with those who dispute Nick’s figure of 12,000), let’s say it is 1,000 per day… or week. 52,000 per year. How many of those are resulting in mind staggering lawsuits?

hmmm-good point. I don’t know from personal experience, just have heard the negatives about liability limitation clauses.(and about HI’s being responsable for everything-detectable or not)
I do know from personal experience as a landlord, that even a lawsuit with no merit is very time consuming and expensive and in my case resulted in my insurance company settling.
I wonder about HI’s getting hammered. i will have to go back and read some of the posts.
ps Wish I was getting a bigger share of those 52000 inspections. :wink:

In my second month in business the client called me after a rain storm a week after the inspection and wanted to sue me for water damage.
I returned to the property and pointed out in the report that I told her to repair the roof in three places, then asked if she had repaired the roof??? Not my problem.:slight_smile:

2 months go by and I get a summons to appear in court as she is now suing the seller for disclosure, great.:frowning: (seller/agent):twisted:

In the witness box the seller starts asking me questions, my response is I am not sure what I said, that was a lot of HI’s ago, can you repeat the question?

The judge leans in to me and hands me a copy of the HI report I wrote and said we are all using this as the primary piece of evidence. Great:(

I look at the report, read the part where it said to fix the roof, and leave.:smiley:
Not really sure of the outcome, but it did not involve me.:smiley:

I do not know of any HI’s being sued.

So far I like our leagal system.

Yeah…and our LEGAL system is not so bad as well…:slight_smile:

You can be fairly well-assured we won’t be getting any REAL data or hard numbers vis-a-vis total insured (and defended) claims from said salespersons…I suspect that would quickly change everything!!! Do you really doubt it?

Just in-case, I’m going to re-word my Agreement to stipulate that any claims will have to be brought-in Judge Alex’s court. Maybe Judge Judy’s or Judge Joe Brown’s court(s).

The minute we discuss our HI business with anyone it’s always “HI’s get SUED over everything.” We live right on the border of OH and WV, with WV being a very “sue happy” state. So, we have the insurance & we are prepared…but it’s nice to hear (from this reliable source) that maybe it’s not as prevelant as we were led to believe.

Let’s just say that, *if *the “horror stories” are indeed fabricated - there are plenty of incentives to do so. It sells E&O…it sells Porter Valley (and similar “liability protection” software…and it keeps scaredy cats from entering the field and competing against us.

I know that, in my own state (according to Dan Bowers’ research) the BBB reports more complaints from florists than home inspectors. Does your florist carry E&O?



OMG, Abernathy catches a spelling error!
BTW, all that crap about Porter Valley making you bullet proof is just that, crap. I hope to not be using PV next year. I don’t think you have to choose between run-on sentences with uneeded fluff words that cause your client’s eyes to glaze over, and added liability exposure. If your report is well written (with appropriate disclaimers)and you do a good inspection, don’t worry about it. The thing I would worry about is getting sued and as Jamie said, the insurance company settles to avoid going to court. That’s BS, I’d rather be confident enough in my inspection and report to feel I could have the case thrown out, and then, because I have a clause in my contract, collect court costs form the ahole that tried to sue me.

I don’t anyone ever sued for a home inspection either.

well so far on the other message about sueing only one person said they got sued

One member out of 9000 doing 52,000+ inspections per year. Hhhmmmmm. What if we multiplied him by 100 over just a three year period…

That would be 100 out of 156,000 inspections resulting in a lawsuit. Even if we multiplied that one inspector by 1000, it would represent less than 1% of the inspections…(of which I am certain that 9000 average more than six per year. 52,000 is a very low number.)

I wonder if anyone who sells E&O insurance could provide the real numbers for us. Their actuaries have to be statistically sound. How many inspections are done and how many result in law suits?

Perhaps no one would dispute it if the facts to support it were supplied.

As of right now, the only statistics regarding average number of inspections obtain from actual inspectors is from an ASHI survey and this online poll here (http://www.nachi.org/forum/showthread.php?t=8584&page=2) which indicates that over 40% of nachi inspectors are perfroming less than 150 per year or not quite 3 inspections per week.

From what I recall of the ASHI survey, the average inspector performs about 250 inspections per year. It may be a few years old, but does serves to give a good barometer of business levels on average.

If that is the case, this works out to about 5 per week, or less than 1 per day. That ratio (5 per week) times 9200 members (many of whom are vendors/retired/part timers/newbies and not active full-time inspectors, etc - but whom we will count as full timers for sake of argument) would be 6471 inspections daily.

250 workdays times a conservative 6000 NACHI inspections per day is 420,000 NACHI inspections per year. Thanks, Joe M.

Now, let’s be ultra-conservative and cut that figure in half, calculating that half of our members do not inspect (vendors, retired, etc.)

210,000 (just NACHI) inspections per year.

Where are all the law suits?

Insurance isn’t sold by the facts, it is sold by the risk to the insurer. The insurers look at “termination points”, or items inspected. Each point is a potential law suit. The insurance companies estimate that there are approximately 400 points (or individual items inspected) during the average home inspection. Further, they look at every one of those points as a potential lawsuit.

Inspector A performs 300 inspections per year times 400 points. They look at that as 120,000 potential law suits from that one inspector each year.

I got this info from an insurance underwriter.

I think that I read in another forem the theory that guys who have been sued are in many cases (almost by definition) probably less likley to post online, less likely to take continuing ed classes, and less likley to be active in HI forums. The thinking here is that they may be sued because they are less informed/trained/experienced, etc - and are more likely to stay in hiding as the result of a lawsuit.

Also, I know few people who boast of being sued. I would not be surprized to learn that there are more lawsuits (or threats of lawsuits which are settled out of court) than we would be likely to hear tale of.

Also, the members only thread has a poll about this very subject indicating that about 10% of respondants have been sued, and about 3% of respondants (40% of those sued) have been sued multiple times.

Using that extrapolation, from your suggested statistics (6000 active full time inspectors), we would be looking at nearly 600 nachi members having ever been sued, with about 240 being sued multiple times.

Clearly this is a small sample and not statistically accurate to a high degree, but it is all we have to go on…

Yes I have been looking and the same as you played with the figures .
I wonder how many of these were settled out of court by the insurance companies .
I also wondered how many of those who went to court won.
Amounts settled for would be a great help for those of us who love to play with figures .
If any one would send me their results and figures I will keep your name confidential so there should be no embarrassment .
Hope to hear from you