Sewer Camera Inspections a must, Im getting sued!

Mr. Schmoe,

The reluctance to taking your advice seriously might because no one can verify you are even in the home inspection industry. I don’t know of very many home inspectors that don’t advertise on line who they are and their profession on line.

Good luck with your lawsuit.


John if you are an inspector, its hard for me to believe you don’t belong to a national organization, like NACHI,… you would have at least had a contract that stated WHAT you inspect and what you DON’T inspect… you could have, as I do, refer to the NACHI Standards of Practice in my agreement AND I also include it, in its entirety in the FULL inspection report. Along with proper verbiage to educate your clients through out the inspection report (Dave Valley had a great example of what he uses, almost similar to mine) this law suit probably would not have gotten off the ground.

The title of the thread was my biggest tip-off!
His brother is a CEO of an oil company in Narobi and needs some help too.:wink:

How many lawyers/acquaintances do you have working on this??
Has anybody else heard of this or is this something genuine???

John it does make a big difference where you live regarding lawsuits and also if you’re in a licensed state with a SOP. Also I have a question…Do you carry E/O insurance? If you do, was your client aware of it before the lawsuit was filed?

I am a certified member of a statewide organization.

Yes, we have an SOP, and like this thread we also have several SOB’s.:wink:

Yes, I have E/O…

To my knowledge the lawsuit has not been filed.
I was served with a notice of intent to sue, but an offer to settle. Does that make sense? It is a lot more in depth than that but thats all I’m willing to divulge.

I got my point across…
I’m done, enjoy…

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First being a certified member of an organization and being licensed by a State and having to follow their SOP could make a lot of difference in a lawsuit. An offer to settle makes sense, there have been MANY threads on here and elsewhere concerning E/O and if you carry it the suggestions and urgency from lawyers to settle out of court if you are guilty are not. Reason, most insurance companies will settle and the lawyers are guaranteed some cash, if you don’t carry it and they need to rely on your net worth, it would be much harder to collect. Honestly I feel the better lawyer would win in your case, being a visual inspection, unless somehow in your report you gave the impression there were no defects in the sewer lines. Also I do appreciate you posting your story.

How many possible inspections are there. Personally, off the top of my head, I can think of ten, no, more than ten. Is it our job to notify the homeowner of all possible inspections. One more point, the contract to purchase, from the realtor lists many of the inspections (not all) and is usually in check off format so that time can be allocated for the inspections. Hmmmmmmmmm.

So if there are no visible leaks, do we cover our collective a$$es by telling the homeowner about a possible IR scan?

So, what caused the actual failure, and how long was it after the inspection? (was this talked about yet?) I mean, it wouldn’t matter one way or another if the pipe was inspected if the owner tried to flush a cat or shove a ham done the drain. We can’t be held responsible for pure stupidity! If the sink didn’t drain, and the toilet wouldn’t flush, it should be in the report. Other wise, we can only do so much without “un-building” the house!

I have never heard of someone *losing or settling *a lawsuit because further evaluation wasn’t recommended on items that appeared to be functioning normally during the inspection. If that is the case you should be recommending that an appliance company come in and recheck all of the functioning appliances, a roofer come and check the roof for leakage, an electrician come in and check all wiring, etc.

We disclaim fireplaces and recommend a level II inspection not because they functioned normally during the inspection, but because we don’t operate them and can’t verify that they are working properly.

Granted, anyone can sue anyone for anything at anytime, and when the lawyer calls you, you have already lost. Yours however sounds like a case of the lawyer wanting his fee from your insurance company for easy work.

I’m not suspicious of the poster or his claim, but I am of his ambulance chaser, oops, attorney. :wink:

No, and I don’t think we need to have go there!

The fact of the matter is that anyone can sue you by getting a lawyer that watches science-fiction movies all night long.

Go to court some time. There is no reality going on there most of the time!
It’s all about manipulation!

If this is in fact a real case it will probably take one to three years for some judge to listen to it (if ever). How much is this going to cost in legal fees? More than your client expects to receive!

If you listen to Keith Swift, nobody gets sued! It’s all about the process of settlement. When you get caught up in crap like this your best bet is to get out with you are @ss anyway you can.

I spent over two years paying a lawyer to be mandated by the court to attend arbitration. All the other plaintiffs in the case except for the termite inspection company showed up pointing fingers and other directions. The termite company (get really pissed off) but came in with a solution to settle the situation. The real estate plaintiffs as well as myself just got drug into everything.

During arbitration my clients attorney could not even produce a list of deficiencies that she expected me to be responsible for. All that is, after two years of getting ready to go to court, she showed up with 6 inches of paperwork in my lawyer showed up with 1 1/2 feet of documentation! Who paid for this? Yours truly! Is there any way out of it? No, it’s the price of doing business in this industry.

Do you want to get away without being sued? You have got to strike up a relationship with your client so that they fully understand what to expect.

When I explain the inspection agreement , paragraph #6 NACHI inspection agreement, to my client I tell them simply to let me know as soon as they find out a problem and let me take a look at it so that I can try to make things right. If I get a call from their lawyer, I can no longer talk to them and there is no way to resolve the issue, so give me a call first! I get a chuckle from every client I say this to!(humor is a good thing!)

It doesn’t matter how good of an inspector you are, it’s how good of a report writer you are!

The only thing that the client thinks he is buying is the inspection report.
When I first considered going into this profession full time, I had a friend at the place I worked for, sitdown and have a few beers with me and discuss my business plan. The first thing that came out of his mouth was that my inspection report was “the product” that the client was purchasing. He told me that it didn’t matter about what I did, rather what I said and how the client perceived it. So consider this, we spent a lot of time to get jobs, we spent a lot of on-site time investigating, but do we rushed through the inspection report? Do we take shortcuts? I have comments time and time again how thorough my inspection was. Did they follow me around and watch me? No, they probably weren’t even there! The perception comes from the inspection report. The perception comes from how you handle your client when you do meet them for a walk through at the end of the inspection(if not, spend two hours on the telephone with them). Did you give your client enough time? Did you answer all their questions? Did you give them the opportunity to question you at any time in the future, until the end of the earth?

If not, watch for that envelope in the mail box!

Good post David.

The were two things in your post, for me.

One was what you said (wrote and explained) and the second was what I heard (read and understood).

Spend time with the client until they are comfortable understanding.

Like I said, good post.:smiley:

Great post. As always sane reasonable information and usable, salient points. Good advise for all of us.

I was in one-of-those-moods today!


Well, okay, but let it happen again. :wink:

Next time your in one of those moods make sure you are on the board. Good Post.


 If this is actually happening to you , I feel for you and I am sorry for my earlier post but you can understand how some of us could be skeptical. With the apparent threat of lawsuits now I have developed a new Home Inspection Checklist.

Plumbing: Please Contact Plumber for evaluation
Electrical: Please Contact Electrician for evaluation
Roofing: Please Contact roofer for evaluation
Structure: Please Contact Engineer for Evaluation
HVAC: Please Contact HVAC Technician for Evaluation
Insulation: Please call insulating company for evaluation
Etc. You guys get my point.

The problem is that because almost all of these cases are settled and not fought in court even though the inspector is RIGHT and probably not at fault, a precedent never gets set, which most courts of law look at when ruling in these cases. After some precedents got set and lawyers looked into cases and realized there was little chance of winning or recovering much money then eventually fewer of these cases come up. Unfortunately the E&O insurance providers determination to settle to save the money ends up helping to assist in the proliferation of these absurd lawsuits and in the long run actually costs more money! However we pay the premiums, so how else can they keep inflated rates without this artificially inflated threat of lawsuits. Sorry but that is my rant for today.


This might be a little off topic but
Do you produce your reports on-sight?
If the report is what counts we should not produce reports on-sight reports.


What Dave said is so important. The HI has to manage their liability. It is not enough to make friends with every customer and hope nothing ever pops up to bite them. When it comes to paying for unseen repairs the friendship will likely go out the window. Especially if it is going to cost some heavy money. The HI has to be cognizant of what the house is telling him or her. If you go out to inspect a 50 year old house there are some pretty reasonable expectations. You are more than likely going to find a lot of issues both seen and unseen. In that case it might be prudent to discuss with the prospective homeowner the very real likelihood of there being lots of unseen problems. I have found the old houses tell a story. If you are observant you can see when and where people screwed up trying to correct problems and often made the problems worse or created new ones. But it can happen on any house. This is why I rarely schedule more than one inspection a day. I do not want to be rushed and refuse to be hurried along by others, take lots of pictures regardless if I intend to use them all or not. Most are for me not the customer. They help me build the report summary. I do not get in a hurry to get the report back to the customer either. I am about 99% of the time able to get it to them by the next day but if it means the difference of being right or being fast I take the extra time. All it has ever taken is a phone call to explain I want to pour over the findings some more for them. Never had one yet get pissy about it, in fact just the opposite. Being the fastest doesn’t necessarily equate to being the best (in many things). I can’t number the times I have decided to check just one more thing or make just a little more effort to find that hidden problem. It is always going to be in the one place you do not want to venture into or take the time to check.


And how many time have you seen something in a picture that you did not see on site.

In my case many time

Your point is made