What is the largest Amount a Client has won from Suing?

Originally Posted By: jwatts1
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Anyone know this?


What is the largest settlement, or amount awarded by a court for a home inspector that was found negligent??


I am curious... we here all the hype about lawsuits, but I wonder what the largest suit has actually been recorded, or if any one knows???

Justin.


Originally Posted By: vdisciullo
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Justin,


I was a little curious about this also. Not so much the biggest, but the general types of lawasuits that seem to pop up regarding this industry. My wife is an attorney so I had her do a search on Westlaw for Home inspectors/Home inspections and came up with a pile of reading (Delaware cases as this is my region). Much of the reading is technical lawyer talk and alot of the stuff is not really related such non-compete clauses and the like, but there is some interesting reading and you will certainly come across the "players" in the area. It was educational for me as I'm looking into E+O insurance and have sticker shock from some of the quotes I've heard. From what I've learned so far, many of the cases have had a few inspectors/inspections involved and there is so much CYA going on in this litigous society that after much deliberation, most cases are settled for amounts smaller than E+O deductables. E+O is not required in my state although General Liability is. I would suggest that anyone in this business get General Liability and it is much more affordable. As for E+O, I simply can't afford it now because I'm new to the bus. and from what I've seen so far, a new roof or furnace out of my pocket if I was negigent would be less than my E+O premium. Most of the litigation if not all is public and can be found if you have time to look. I'm certainly not saying to do away with E+O as I will probably attain it at some point, but it certainly gives you something to think about.

Vince


Originally Posted By: gbeaumont
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Hi to all,


the bigger claimsagainst home inspectors are fromthe structural failure areas (up to $ 100,000 or so). The single largest judgement that I know of was where inspector negiligence contributed to the death of a child $1.4 million.

Regards

Gerry


--
Gerry Beaumont
NACHI Education Committee
e-mail : education@nachi.org
NACHI phone 484-429-5466

Inspection Depot Education
gbeaumont@inspectiondepot.com

"Education is a journey, not a destination"

Originally Posted By: jwatts1
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Wow! 1.4 million dollars!, if that inspector didn’t have insurance, other than his house or personal assets… the clients will probably never see the money. who knows?


To sum up the entire reason why E and O is so expensive, I think it is because there are so many "things" that can go wrong!!! Kids falling off balconies, drowing in pools, mold, foundations collapsing, electrocutions etc. etc. So many things (can) happen and that the liablility falls back on the last person (the inspector) that checked the home... is seen as responsible.

The only way insurance will ever pay for itself is if someone is killed due to your complete negligence, or if a Foundation completely collapses. But this is usually rare in itself! I read that somewhere on the CREIA website (forgive me) that the lawsuit ratios for home inspections is 1 in every 750.... that's not bad, actually considering the odds... and ofcourse all of us are better and worse, and use different reporting methods, so the better inspectors should have even better odds... that's if you don't get the sue happy clients!


Originally Posted By: dedwards
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What Vincent said is pretty much what I have read. Couple of years ago I read an article written by a lawyer who stated that the overwhelming majority of lawsuits against HI are bogus. Some one trying to get the HI to help pay for remodeling. He went on to say that most of the so called discrepancies turn out to be items that could not be found during an inspection and were discoverd only after a wall or partition was removed and things like that. He also stated the “average” claim against HI that turn out to legit are about $2000. About half of what most guys pay out in premiums and about the same for the deductible. Some people are figuring out they can become self insured. Not for the faint of heart or someone unsure of their abilities or lacking proper training.


Originally Posted By: bsumpter
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Every time I even think of running without E & O , and I read a thread like this, I have to buy a new office chair…from pinching out most of the foam seat cushion due to a super clench! icon_biggrin.gif


I spoke to Chris Butler today at FREA, and I have to say, even though I can really barely afford this insurance outlay, I can afford being without it even less.

I enjoy my home...When and If I move, it will not be at the courts behest.


--
"In the fields of observation, chance favors only the mind that is prepared"

Louis Pasteur

Originally Posted By: jwatts1
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Reading all of these threads has been provided great info. and views…


If you really think about it, Insurance Companies want to make money, just like all of us do! A lot of claim statistics seem to be kept, hush, hush.... So it seems, I may be wrong.

But if we are all "scared" of being sued, and losing our assets, or should I say (asses) we are all willing to pay between 2 - 4k a year for E and O insurance.... and the insurance companies are raking in...

Just like Car Insurance, the only time it will ever pay to have it, is until you kill someone!

Just some food for thought.
Justin.


Originally Posted By: ekartal
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I know of a $40,000 claim. Inspector had no insurance. Home owner filed a civil suit and went after his personal assets like his personal bank account… Many inspectors feel that by not having deep pockets they are off the hook. No.


Erol Kartal


Originally Posted By: Blaine Wiley
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Quote:
Many inspectors feel that by not having deep pockets they are off the hook. No.


That depends upon your state laws, Erol.


Originally Posted By: gbeaumont
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Hi to all,


Blaine is somewhat correct, that actions by homeowners against Home inspectors vary state by state, BUT ............. when all is said and done in many states a claim only has to pass a test of reasonablenes infront of a jury, and that can go any-which-way (look at OJ).

The biggest area of liability for Home Inspectors is NOT the roof covering and furnace area as many think ($2- $10k) but in the area of structural failures ( $25K and up)

Regards

Gerry


--
Gerry Beaumont
NACHI Education Committee
e-mail : education@nachi.org
NACHI phone 484-429-5466

Inspection Depot Education
gbeaumont@inspectiondepot.com

"Education is a journey, not a destination"

Originally Posted By: ccoombs
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Quote:
Many inspectors feel that by not having deep pockets they are off the hook. No.


I just sold a structural engineering company. It has a pending lawsuit (that I sold with the company ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ) that listed my company, another company, as well as two individuals. The individuals do not have E&O and are paying the legal fees out of pocket. It is a copy right BS lawsuit that has no validity....but those lawyer bills are very real.

I would not and have not done any work without E&O. But then again I do have assets that could come into pay in a lawsuit.


--
Curtis

Originally Posted By: jmyers
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Erol,


You are correct, per se but the fact remains you can not suck blood from a turnip. I invite you to take everything that I own but don't get mad when you find I am penniless. ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif)


--
Joe Myers
A & N Inspections, Inc.
http://anii.biz

Originally Posted By: jwatts1
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Use InspectVue software! best advice I can give to anyone…


Originally Posted By: troberts1
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Hey Justin,


I use inspectvue software also but let me caution you the software is only as good as the inspector imputing the info if you fail to do a good job and miss some thing on your report or on the inspection as we all do we still have put ourselves at risk. no report system in the world is going to cover our a%%es if we are negligent. What I am trying to say is don't get a false since of hope, because it could cost you. ![icon_wink.gif](upload://ssT9V5t45yjlgXqiFRXL04eXtqw.gif)


Originally Posted By: dbowers
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


One of the lawsuits I was privy to over the past 26 years involved a kitchen sink with the hot/cold water lines reversed at a kitchen sink and a 18 month old baby girl that got scalded and burned because of that.

Everyone was sued - the seller, builder, plumber, inspector, etc. End result - there was no trial or verdict. Everyone involved was afraid to go into court so the insurance companies ponied up to their respective clients insurance policy limits to keep from being sued - almost 6 million.

By the way the owner of the house knew of the problem, told her guest of the problem AND the guests 7 year old daughter turned on the sink accidently with the reversed water flow and did the foul deed to her own little baby sister. Ain't life grand.


Originally Posted By: jwatts1
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That last story made me sick! People are evil, they will look for money and any scapegoat! … its all just a game, and people cheat the system!


That's why my INSPECTVUE software, has a disclaimer that states that all water heaters should be set under 110 degrees for safety...

But come on, like people don't feel the heat of the water before bathing anyone..... I even feel the water when I wash my wife's 5 pound pomeranian in the sink!


Originally Posted By: pcarter
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Isn’t 110 degrees for water the minimum for killing “Microbes” and 125 degrees is when scalding/burning occurs quickly? or am I wrong here?



Patrick C.


Town & Country Home Inspection Services, LLC


(Serving S.E. Kansas, Cruising the 169)

Originally Posted By: phinsperger
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Quote:
...Water temperature in the tank should be set to 60 deg Celsius (140F) to minimize the development of bacteria such as Legionella. To prevent severe burns, we recommend that thermostatic mixing valves (meeting the CSA B125/ASSE 1016 standard) be used to reduce the water temperature at the fixtures to a maximum of 49 deg Celsius (120F). When there are young children, elderly or invalids in the house, you should consider lowering the temperature even further. The tender skin of young children and the slow reaction times if the elderly and handicapped make them most vulnerable top serious hot water burns...



--
.


Paul Hinsperger
Hinsperger Inspection Services
Chairman - NACHI Awards Committee
Place your Award Nominations
here !

Originally Posted By: rcooke
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Rheem recomends 120 F for your water temp .


Lots of info at rheem.


http://www.rheem.com/Documents/ResourceLibrary/TSB_ResElec1300/1300.pdf

http://www.rheem.com/Entrance/index5.html

Roy Cooke sr

Royshomeinspection.com


Originally Posted By: janderson
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invalids…kind of an insensitive term nowadays.


There is currently a bill in the state legislature here that would remove the terms "Handicaped, mentally retarded, and invalid" (to name a few) from all locations throughout state statutes and replace with the term "disabled individual".


--
Within the seeds of ignorance lie the fruits of denial

Jeremiah