Can a client who has signed an inspection agreement which states that the inspector is not liable for latent or hidden damages, still sue if he finds hidden damage in a house they bought?

Asked on October 25, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A contractual limitation of professional liability like this is generally enforceable and valid, so the inspector shold not be liable for latent or hidden damage unless it can be shown that this really *wasn't* latent or hidden damage--it was something which a reasonable inspector should have found, or was in a location which a reasonable inspector should have inspected. But if it was truly latent or hidden, then the provision you describe should protect the inspector--though it will not, unfortunately, stop the client from filing a lawsuit and forcing the inspector to respond to it, if the client is determined (it's almost impossible to stop someone from at least filing a lawsuit, if they are bound and determined to do so, even if the suit would ultimately be a losing one). The provision would provide a defense to the lawsuit, however.

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