Can I sue an engineer based upon his report of the structural integrity of a home that I purchasedif itshowed problems 6 months later?

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Can I sue an engineer based upon his report of the structural integrity of a home that I purchasedif itshowed problems 6 months later?

I purchased a home in 6/10 based on an engineer’s report that was recommended to be done by the home inspector. The report stated that no work needed to be done on the home, however, not 6 months later the house showed signs of a shifting foundation. I called the engineer back to the home to do another evaluation and he noted the shift had increased by an inch. He told me that if I tried to sell the house now I would have to do some foundation repairs. Well, if an inch shift warrant repairs then I think they should have been done prior to my purchase of the home.

Asked on February 11, 2011 under Business Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You may be able to sue the engineer, IF he was negligent in his inspection and report. The problem could be proving that: for example, winter weather has been unusually severe in many parts of the country (I don't know what it's been like in MS) and it's not impossible that the heavy weather has caused shifting that had not occured previously. It's also not impossible that whatever the condition was, it was imperceptible before, so that even if the engineer did everthing right, he could not spot it. It would be worth meeting with an attorney who handles cases like this, to get his opinion about the specific facts of your sitation (many attorneys provide a free initial consultation), but you should be prepared that it may not be easy to prove liablity in a case like this. Good luck.


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