Poorly installed roof / my client is suing the roofer

Hi everyone
My client is suing the roofer for a poorly installed roof and damage gutter etc. I did an inspection of the roof after the roofer fell through the roof into she living room… I did mold tests results were positive for mold (I did use 2 different labs both were positive for mold) because the roof had a whole in it…

my question is being the witness for my client … an advise for me in court… I have not been a witness in court before… and any other report I should have or get?





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Charge for your time. Don’t make any statements that you haven’t documented in your report. About all you can say is I did an inspection on such and such a day and time and the findings are in my report. The roofer’s lawyer is going to try to make you contradict yourself and destroy your reputation and possibly your character. No fun, charge a lot or just stay home. My advice is never be the “middle man.”


There are 2 types of witness. 1: Witness of fact. 2: Expert witness.
The report acts as fact evidence, or not.
I recommend you acting as (#1) 1: Witness of fact. Use your report and assessment methodology, your SoP, to speak on behalf of the client.

Being accepted as, ‘an expert witness.’ The judicator, a person who acts as a judge or Judge, will walk you through the steps.
This is how I got accepted as expert witness.
1: Have your working and educational portfolio with you. As well, all your certificates. The documents will be introduced ‘as evidence’ and act as an assortation to your qualifications, Experiences, Credentials, Designations. CMI: certified Mater Inspector. CPI: Certified Professional Inspector.

The opposing, layers and attendees will be asked if they accept your credentials. That sets the tone for the inquiry.

He/She/Judge/Judicator, will ask you your qualifications. Defendant’s and plaintiff’s attendees discus the case openly.

IMO: My Opening Salvo: Bring the shingle manufacturers installation manual for that specific shingle with you, as well as present it to the judicator. Know this stuff by heart.
Damage speaks for itself.

You will do fine. Study. Brush up on roofing certification chapters.
Charge accordingly.

An “expert witness” is someone with expertise in a particular area who is called to testify during litigation. A “fact witness” is a person whose testimony is limited to giving facts. An “expert witness,” by contrast, is allowed to give his or her professional opinion.

Inspectors as Expert Witnesses
by Nick Gromicko, CMI® and Kenton Shepard
What Is an Expert Witness?*

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thank you what do I charge for doing this?

Fact witnesses are not normally allowed to be paid for their testimony, except the amount allowed by the court for being subpoenaed. (Think of how uncredible the testimony of an eyewitness to an accident would be when it was discovered they were being paid by the Plaintiff to testify about what they saw, for example.)

Expert witnesses can charge what is considered fair and reasonable and what the market will allow, but qualifying as an expert witness is not automatic.



I would say to myself, “I am not here to convince anyone of anything. I saw what I saw and reported on it.”


I’m curious and maybe the attorney’s will be curious why you recommended removing the vent. I’m also curious what is a reused vent? If you’re talking about the lead flashing do you have firsthand knowledge that the flashing was reused? If the lead flashing was reused it’s lifespan will be beyond the new asphalt shingles lifespan. This may be some of the holes that the attorneys will poke into the report.


the vent goes nowhere… the power room did not have a vent…the insurance claim stated installing a new vent because of dents. …the kitchen had a different vent… thanks about the flashing…

I’m having a hard time understanding this. I think you may be confusing the vent with the vent flashing. The vent flashing has dents. Dents in a lead flashing is not a defect. The new lead flashing is going to have dents in it too. Anyway best of luck to you.


Uh…are you sure you’re not getting the bathroom exhaust fan vent mixed up with the plumbing vent? Bathrooms do not have to have an exhaust fan if they have an openable window. Bathrooms do have to have a vent for the plumbing system though. Your powder room is going to have a sink/toilet and they need to be vented. This looks like an older home, so an individual vent is more likely than an AAV.

Uh yea, the square roof vent in one of your pictures? It’s a large square metal vent. It catches hail, tree branches, etc. It’s going to get dented. PVC, ABS, CAST IRON, etc plumbing vents don’t usually get “dented” to need replacement.

I don’t think you should be thinking about charging anything. You should stay away from being a witness or you’ll get shredded by the opposing attorney or their expert.


It is not required that a roofer install a new vent because it is cited in an insurance claim or paid for by an insurance company. It is always the policyholder’s option to do the work or keep the amount of money paid. A roofer is only responsible for doing the work that he is contracted to do. Only if he was paid to install new vents but didn’t is the roofer at fault for not installing a new vent.

You will often find insurance claims where the policyholder has copper flashing, is paid by the insurance company the actual cash value to remove and replace hail dented copper flashing but will elect to keep the dented copper flashing and pocket the money. It is allowed and is no reflection at all upon the roofer whose contract with the homeowner does not include removing and replacing copper flashing.

This might be a minor detail, but minor details can make or break a lawsuit.

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I’m gonna take a shot im the dark with this but I would bet the lawsuit is more geared towards the mold found and not the vent.
Good luck with that whole situation lol

Julie, hope this post finds you well.

Slow down for a minute.
What your client says, and what your client does, can be deferent than what actually occurs in real time.
A: Retaining a lawyer cost money.
B: Small claims court takes time.
C: The contractor is allowed one (1) kick at the can to make it right!

Advise your client, they can send a registered letter, explaining their ‘suspect accusations.’
That would be a starting point.

You can act as an mediator between your client and the roofing contractor. That takes patients, expertise and knowhow. In other words, no emotions.

Just For Clarification: Did the Roofer or The Client/Homeowner fall through the roof and into she (sic) Living room? Will there be a countersuit for roofers injuries?

Also I would be very careful when testifying what your “Thermal Image” alone is indicating. It is only temperature you are seeing not moisture/mold. The “square area” to me looks more like a cold spot attributed most likely do to missing insulation (if that is what you are trying to show in the photo). Good luck, let us know how it turns out.

roof was installed wrong , the one of the roofer fell thought the living room ceiling, did not put the electrical mast back correctly, gutter and soffit and facia were damage by the roofer, did not put installation back in the attic where the roofer fell thru the ceiling and mold damage

In my opinion its best to stay out of court. your report is your statement and if you do go to court charge a days worth of work for yourself. Again this is my opinion best of luck though!

Hope you inspected it before or have pictures of it before is all I am saying.
I have had a handful of my reports that client’s use in court successfully(mostly from challenging contractors or inspectors that were negligent). However I personally wouldn’t go into court myself in this situation unless I could verify those claims against the roofer and not just the word of the client.
Lots of shingles get installed with poor/inadequate practices and thats for sure.
It all comes down to how you reported on it like the first few comment’s in this post said. I know just from what you have written and the pictures you put up I could shoot holes through the statment “the roofer did all this” especially the mold that was most likely the result of negligent maintenance from the homeowner judging by the overfilling/backflow staining on those eaves (again though you were there not me).
There is more to this story than is being shared thats for sure.
Were you the one that removed the drywall in the ceiling? I see ther thermal image with drywall installed than another with the square removed.
From where im sitting I would definitely want to know what the roof components looked like before the roofer “damaged” everything, its an older house.
There is lots of good advice for you on this thread already, just keep in mind most of it is to stay out of court. Which I agree with as well.

Just for fun Im gonna add this.
P.S my dog trains for overflowing eaves as part of his routine and that damage can be devastating when eaves are not regularly maintained

Best of luck


Your dog is awesome. That picture is EPIC! :wink:


I love your helper !!

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