Can we sue the home inspector, the adjuster or the previous homeowners regarding foundation issues?

We are having serious foundation issues like $50,000 issues. We hired an inspection who said the wood foundation looked great and we also got a USDA rual development loan who inspected the place and only said the roof was in bad condition but didn’t say anything about the foundation. The basement export said this issue has been going on for a long time, not something that happened in the 2.5 years

we have lived here. Do we have a case?

Asked on June 26, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you can prove the seller (previous owner) knew of the condition of the foundation, you could sue for fraud.  Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation or nondisclosure  of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent to induce your reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment. 
 In other words, you would not have purchased the house had you known the condition of the foundation.
Damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) for fraud would be either the benefit of the bargain or your out of pocket loss.
Benefit of the bargain means a defrauded purchaser may recover the difference between the real and represented value of the property purchased regardless of the fact that the actual loss suffered might have been less.
Out of pocket determination of damages for fraudulent misrepresentation  permits recovery of the difference between the price paid and actual value of the property acquired.
You can sue the inspector(s) for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable home inspector would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  Your damages would be foreseeable consequences caused by negligence such as costs incurred, etc.
You would file one lawsuit naming the seller (previous owner) and the inspector(s) as defendants.
Your lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

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