Can a seller sue a home inspector for false claims of asbestos?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a seller sue a home inspector for false claims of asbestos?

We are actively selling our property and had a potential cash deal. The buyers
conducted a home inspection and the report indicated a potential asbestos heat
shield under the plenum in our attic. We had the material tested and it turned out to
be concrete hardy board, not asbestos. The sale fell through because of this claim.
Is there any recourse for this false asbestos claim against the company who
conducted the inspection?

Asked on August 13, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The inspector had no legal obligation to you, since they were (presumably) hired by the buyers, so there is no contract-based claim possible. A claim of professional negligence might be a possibility, but:
1) Their determination would not just have to be in error, but to have been professionally negligent, or unreasonably careless as judged by the standards of their profession. Simple, not-unreasonable errors would not give rise to liability.
2) To prove that the inspectors were professionally negligent, you would need to have other home inspectors testify that they examined your home and that based on their inspection and their professional training and expertise, the first inspectors were professionally negligent. Since you'd have to pay those other inspectors for their time (the inspection; writing a report; testifying), this would be a large cost you'd have to bear yourself and could not  recover from the other side (the inspector you are suing); in U.S. law, each party bears its own litigation expenses.
If you could establish the fault of the home inspector per the above, you could potentially recover the additinoal carrying costs you incur--i.e. the extra monthly costs to own and maintain your home for the additional time until you can sell it--and/or any out-of-pocket costs you incurred from the failed sale.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption