Lawsuits: A Never Ending Story

As I’ve reported in my book, frivolous litigation is the greatest threat facing inspectors nationwide. And, in the absence of an edict from God, I’ve quoted several attorneys and what statistics I could gather from insurance companies and other sources to substantiate my argument, but have depended on the scholarship of the “luminous detail.” The point being that if I see a man slap a child forcibly across the face I really don’t need to read a lengthy psychological profile to conclude that he’s a sick bastard. Nigel Bonny, Esq, the legal counsel for FREA, happens to be one of the attorneys that I quote in my book, and he has published another article on the subject in the Spring Issue (#45) of FREA’s magazine “Communicator: The Voice of Our Nation’s Appraisers and Home Inspectors.” I’m proud to report that Nigel has the courage to speak candidly. This is how his article begins:
Sometimes claims are legitimate and have merit. However, most of the time the claimant, particularly in a case against a home inspector is out to get the inspector and/or the inspector’s insurance company in the hopes that the insurance company will foot the bill for the expensive remodeling job.
The article goes on to relate how an “innocent” inspector was sued by “two attorneys” (his clients), but won thanks to his pre-inspection agreement and “arbitration.” But, think about it, what did the inspector win? He won nothing, he was legally assaulted and wasted time and money. And what happened to the attorneys? The arbitrator (may the great Gods bless him) expressed “astonishment” that they had “blatantly ignored both the pre-inspection agreement and the report itself which addressed nearly all the the issues raised in the complaint.” To paraphrase Bob Dylan again: “You don’t need a weather vane to see which way the wind blows.” Thanks anyway Nigel. You have my respect.

Can we and the insurance Companies not sue those who bring about frivolous charges and get our out of pocket expenses paid for by the person who was wrong.
If this can be done I expect it would go a long way to stop this stupidity.

Roy, only if we had something akin to British common law, which we don’t. What we need in the US is tort reform, which we’re never likely to get. This is one of the reasons that I flew to Colorado to meet with Nick. NACHI is becoming a “force to be reckoned with,” and Nick certainly loves his inspectors. Stay tuned, but I don’t have any encouraging news right now.

We in Canada are far from perfect But I do believe many of our laws and Rules came from Britian.
Many times over the years the USA has talked about Canada and USA becomming one great Country.
I wonder some how can we get this to happen and take the best ideas from each country and it then for sure could be the Best of the best.

A good example of this is what I am going through right now.
A cat urine smell in the house that didnt rear its ugly head until after the close of escrow…No smell at the time of inspection, nobody smelled anything when visiting the house, buyers and buyers agent were in the house a few times and didnt smell anything, it was disclosed by the sellers that there was a problem but had been taken care of. Buyers where out of town at the time of the inspection and never signed my agreement.

The buyers lawyer appears that he wants to rake me over the coals on this one.

I had a lawer in the begining but ran out of funds with no avail.

I totaly feel I am in no way liable for this but what can you do.

I might say .

" you seem to be unhappy with this home would you feel better if I was to offer to take it of your hands for what you paid for it . "

Be carefull how you say this as they might think that is a good idea.

If you can afford it then you might be able to clean up the home make it sparkle and make some money.
How is the market in your area.
You might want to have a recorder on your body or a witness when you say this if Recorders are not legal.

They claim to already have made repairs aprox. $15000 and they are adding another 10k to that i guess for losing value.

The market here is not all that strong right now and prices are heading down.

Mike, I’m sorry to hear it, but since I wrote my book I get two or three calls a week. Call me, and I’ll advise you privately.

I do. I have a gentlemen meeting with us on the 22nd specifically centered around frivilous law suits.

Keith and John so glad we in NACHI have you and many others trying to help this Industry .


Roy, the “gentleman” John’s referring to is me, and I’ll be proud to be in the same room as he.


The answer is “yes,” but the cost could be prohibitive, you probably won’t find an attorney that will represent you on a contingency basis, and you’ll have no guarantee of prevailing, even though you may have been the victim of a frivolous lawsuit. Taking that into consideration, the answer is: “Nope.” PS I know of a lawsuit in California in which the inspector was sued over a swimming pool. However, the swimming pool had not been installed when he did his inspection. Nevertheless, it took him several years and several thousand dollars to extricate himself from that perfectly legal quagmire.

Gee Canada sure sounds like a good place to stay.
These continuing silly actions could bankrupt this society.
When will if ever common sense take over.