TN Supreme Court Ruling: Home inspector liability does not extend to third parties.

Charles Grogan v. Daniel Uggla, Et Al.

In this case, the plaintiff Charles Grogan was injured when he fell from a second story deck that had not been properly constructed but had recently been inspected by the defendant Jerry Black, a home inspector hired by homeowner Daniel Uggla. Defendant Black was a franchisee of defendant Pillar to Post, Inc. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants, and the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court. We granted this appeal to consider as a matter of first impression in this state whether a home inspector is subject to liability for the physical harm suffered by a social guest of the home inspector’s client. We conclude that the defendants successfully negated essential elements of the claims of negligent misrepresentation and negligent inspection such that summary judgment was appropriate in this case. Accordingly, the Court of Appeals and the trial court judgments are affirmed.

Authoring Judge: Justice Roger A. Page
Originating Judge: Judge James G. Martin, III
Date Filed: Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Charles Grogan v. Daniel Uggla, Et Al.

Thanks for not just posting a link to the subject, but an explanation of the subject of the post! … I hope this continues in the future

At least we now have a state Supreme Court ruling that we can point to from any other state.

Which means little if anything. State laws are unique to each state just like with limiting your liability, corporations, tort law, or any other state law. If State SC rulings had any weight, you would have seen the wacko California LEKO decision be enacted in other states over the last 16+ years but it has stayed unique to California.

So the third party has no right to redress in a case such as this. However what stops the Inspectors client from suing the Inspector to recover what the third party sues the client for? :wink:

Inability to prove damages? How is one person harmed by another falling?

I disagree. They will just go after the inspector if they cant get it from the homeowner.


From that court doc above.

This document is an explanation of the summary judgement requested by the Inspector (Inspector’s Attorney) and does not appear to have anything to do with the injured person’s (Third Party) claims against the homeowner (Inspector’s client). We are not told here what if any judgement has been made against the homeowner/homeowner’s insurance carrier.

If a judgement is made against the homeowner/homeowner’s insurance there is obviously nothing stopping either from then initiating a lawsuit against the Inspector
for failing to identify an apparent faulty rail. Keeping in mind that the original seller and not the current homeowner is the one that had the deck repaired based off of what the Home Inspector had in their report which did not include a faulty railing. The current homeowner was expecting to hire an Inspector to find important issues of which this was one. The seller only had a contractor repair was identified in the report as faulty.

So to answer your questions above the Inspector’s client/insurance company is damaged by a judgement against them for the injuries of the client’s guest. The current homeowner (Inspector’s client) has been harmed by higher premiums, their insurance deductible for this incident, possible other costs, because the Inspector did not identify the improperly constructed deck railing that injured their guest.

I’m certainly not an Attorney but as we see these days it is not hard to guess what an insurance company would do to recoup their losses after they have to pay for a judgement against one of their insured and it is a large enough settlement.

I’d like to point out for all the crotchety old guys commenting on this post that this is a STEP in the right direction. No, it doesn’t solve every issue but it covers one base, and you need 3 for a home run;) Progress is made one step at a time.

This also reaffirms, to me, that no one should use a P2P franchisee. Ever.

At what age does a person become “old”?