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Hello and thanks so much for choosing this forum to pose your important legal question. I will do my best to give you some honest and accurate guidance as I answer your question.
SInce you are represented by legal counsel, I will have to defer to your attorney to provide actual advice and counsel. However, without in any way intending to interfere with the attorney-client professional relationship, I will be glad to comment and provide information. The law does impose liability upon inspectors and employs a general care negligence tort law standard. California Business and Professions Code §§ 7195-7199. However, in the context of a municipality (seeing your mention of a city inspector's office), you will be facing procedural hurdles including an assertion of immunity against suit. In addition, there will be special notice provisions not otherwise applicable to civil suits against private parties. So, unfortunately, the botXXXXX XXXXXne to all of this is the ultimate answers will only come from litigation. That process is expensive, stressful and time consuming. I regret being the bearer of discouraging news and do not mean to sound harsh or negative. My primary aim, however, is to be upfront and realistic with you, and the civil litigation coupled with any administrative (regulatory) disciplinary licensure action is very apt to make for a protracted legal battle.
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The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Benjamin M. Burt, Jr., Esq. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.
Thank you for your response and yes, it was discouraging. You referred me to the CA Business and Professions code however, as I understand it it is referring to home inspectors. Do city and county office inspectors fall under this category? The inspector that was called for is from the city building department. They must sign off on inspection of work completed before the project resumes. If they had signed off on the foundation of the house how is it possible that I can be sued for faulty workmanship completed by a sub-contractor after the whole house has been completed?
Thanks for writing back -- good to hear from you.
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I will be glad to comment further -- please see below.
Yours is a three-way legal battle I have witnessed more than once, to say the least. Generally these cases involves a contractor, a sub-contractor (or more than one), and an inspector. Essentially, each ends up pointing at the other and disclaims liability. Truthfully, the only way to answer your question about being sued for faulty workmanship is to see what the discovery and litigation process bears out. That is incredibly frustrating, I know, but it is the way the system grinds along. As for statutes, probably the most relevant provision would be California Public Contract Code § 1104. Basically, though, yes the same principles do apply. I am truly sorry for this situation and can tell you take your work and your professional reputation seriously.
I hope that helps a bit more.
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