Sewer Camera Inspections a must, Im getting sued!

Posted this on another forum, though I would post here also…

Im not gonna go in depth, but I am being sued as we speak.
My Lawyer says I should just settle with them, and split the cost with the Realtor. They are looking to settle for replacement of the sewer line, and flood damages in excess of $30,000.

We(the Realtor, and I) may be @ fault because we did not suggest they have the sewer line inspected. Nor did we inform them that Sewer Camera Inspections existed. I have a disclaimer about pipes in walls ,and below ground, but apparently its garbage because I did not educate the customer about Sewer Inspections.

Make sure you recommend(verbally, and in writing), and highlight it on every single job you do.

If I live through this ordeal I will never let this happen again.

My Lawyer is writing something up to the effect that lists all specialized inspections(chimney, sewer, geo, etc.) available to the customer. It will state that I “John Hancock” have informed “Joe Blow” about specialized inspections available, and recommend these inspections to the “Joe Blow” to further educate them about existing conditions that may be beyond my scope of work. All specialized inspections should be perform before close of escrow. They will have to sign, and date it.

Cover your butt!

Some of the best advice people will see on these boards!!!

Do you have arbitration written in your contract? If you know you did your inspection properly, spend the couple of thousand to your lawyer so he can direct it to your arbitration company (again, if you have it in your contract).

This is exactly why I have this disclaimer in my 64-page “Know Your Home” manual.

D) Waste Pipes
I attempt to evaluate drain pipes by flushing every drain that has an active fixture while observing its draw and watching for blockages or slow drains, but this is not a conclusive test and only a video-scan of the main line would confirm its actual condition. However, you can be sure that blockages will occur, usually relative in severity to the age of the system, and will range from minor clogs in the branch lines, or at the traps beneath sinks, tubs and showers to major blockages in the main line. The minor clogs are easily cleared, either by chemical means or by removing and cleaning out the traps. However, if tree roots grow into the main drain that connects the house to the public sewer, repairs could become expensive and might include replacing the entire main line.
For these reasons, I recommend that you ask the sellers if they have ever experienced any drainage problems, or you may wish to have the main waste line video-scanned before the close of escrow. Failing this, you should obtain an insurance policy that covers blockages and damage to the main line. However, most policies only cover plumbing repairs within the house or the cost of rooter service, which are usually relatively inexpensive. No attempt was made to locate drainage cleanout caps.

Good Luck on your suit. I hope it’s in your favor, either way.

I have a 4 page contract to disclaim all that crap. At least your realtor friend can help you in this situation. Are you insured???

It’s all about settling!
It’s unlikely you’re ever get into the courtroom and all that PreInspection agreement crap is useless for your protection in most cases. I would have your lawyer draft up all the reasons why sewer pipes are not part of home inspection and attempt a reasonable settlement just to get them off your back.
What state are you in?

I’m a skeptic.

It looks like a sewer camera salesman to me!

On thinking a bit more about the situation: We are hired for house inspections…anything outside the house should automatically “off limits”; we were not hired to inspect the sewer that may run 50-70’+ to the street. It is a similar situation to septic tanks; as a general statement, we don’t inspect them. If everything drained well with no indications of slowness/blockages, that is all we can report on.

They are on weak footings here, I think.

State it in your “exclusions” line along with no enrvironmental inspections/tests such as lead, asbestos,oil, radon, mould… plus septic and sewer line inspections are part of a regular home inspection

Good for you Ralph you saw it immediatly.
Strange name no area ,we as home Inspectors can not see underground.
It is a visual inspection only.


This could be a ruse but the info gained from DV’s post is worthy and appreciated

Get a different lawyer.

All court records are public, how about a court docket number and the city and state where this is taking place…I dont mind calling and varifying the claim…

John Schmoe! Hey are you JOE SCHMOE’S brother!

You bad, you bad, you bad,
-X :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

If I go to our family doctor for a routine checkup does the doctor tell me about all of the possible test that he could send me for? Of course not.

Keith Swift, thanks

John S.

One of the things that we hear about occurring immediately after move-in of a home is a blocked drain. We advise Clients as to the importance of running the water at all locations for a reasonable amount of time while conducting a pre-closing review of the home.

When a Occupant and/or Tenant is leaving the home, Old medications in the medicine cabinet are many times discarded by flushing down the toilet. Pills and capsules will expand considerably causing drain obstructions.

Look fellas this was not meant to be turned into a joke, and I am now sorry I even posted. I am a bit taken back by the hostility. I was just trying to save another Inspector from the same fate. I for obvious reason do not want to reveal who I am, or where Im located. Just though Id put this out there for those that think “It wont happen to me”.

Apparently, It doesn’t matter what you disclaim, If you don’t recommend a sewer camera inspection you will get sued when the poop hits the fan. Dependant upon many variables some inspectors may win the case, and some may not. Simply put, in order to avoid being sued you need to recommend it.

An acquaintance of mine who is a Real Estate Lawyer basically told me:
You have to inform the customer(in writing) that specialized inspections exist, and the reasons why one should have the specialized inspections. You also have to state that failure to have these specialized inspections could later result in unseen costly repairs, and or damages due to failure. Therefore you recommend that they seek a Specialist for further investigation.

If you do not educate your customer you may be held liable.

If I had just recommended the sewer inspection they could not go after me!

Due to several different factors Ive been advised to settle this issue without litigation.

What gave you that idea??? His name? Joe Schmoe!?!?!?! :mrgreen:


Our Office contractually offers several different types of Inspections that are clearly delineated. One offering is:

23. Underground Sewer Line Evaluation

Contracted services are identified and specifically listed in the IOA. Client signs that they have reviewed the contract for the services itemized.


"If I had just recommended the sewer inspection they could not go after me! "

Reporting, Recommending, Contracting, etc… will not prevent you from being named in a lawsuit. It only provides you with a defensible argument.