About once a week, a home inspector who has heard me speak or is otherwise familiar with my work on behalf of home inspectors will contact me to discuss a claim that is already in suit. These contacts are always engendered by the inspector’s utter disgust with the way in which the lawyer engaged by the inspector’s insurance company to represent his interests in the litigation is executing that assignment.
Last week an inspector who had been at the seminar that I conducted for the West Virginia Association of Home Inspectors in February of this year called me about a case that he has been involved in for over two years. The attorney who is representing him has been running up “enormous bills”, currently over $150,000, while taking no action whatsoever to terminate the case.
The inspector’s deductible has long since been exhausted and he has since switched his insurance coverage to Lockton Affinity to avoid any future repeat of this sort of nightmare. Thus, he really has no further financial stake in the outcome of the litigation, assuming, of course, that attorneys fees do not eventually exceed his insurance policy limits. That fact notwithstanding, he is morally outraged at the way that this attorney is exploiting the file financially and wanted to know what he could do about it.
I asked about the merits of the underlying claim and the inspector told me that the issue that formed the basis of the plaintiffs’ complaint had been thoroughly documented with supporting photographs in both the report and the summary. I then asked if his pre-inspection agreement contained an arbitration clause and he said that it did. It also had an exculpatory clause.
Good grief! This case, as this inspector described it, is a locus classicus of the sort of case that I routinely dispose of with a telephone call to plaintiffs’ counsel explaining that the claim can not be brought in court because of the arbitration clause and requesting that plaintiffs voluntarily dismiss the inspector from the suit with prejudice. They always do so because otherwise the inspector could file his own motion and, when it is granted, seek reimbursement of his attorneys fees because the refusal to voluntarily dismiss would be unreasonable under those circumstances.
The inspector wanted to know if I could call the attorney and remonstrate with him over his conduct. I told the inspector that it was unlikely that this attorney would be receptive to such counsel, that the inspector really no longer had a dog in that fight and that it would probably be a waste of his money.
If you do not wish to be a party to these sorts of shenanigans, click that blue “Get A Quote” button on the right hand side of this page.
While that should be reason enough for inspectors to want to have their E & O insurance with Lockton Affinity, here’s another one. When an inspector purchases E & O Insurance from Lockton Affinity, he puts a little money in my family’s pocket and supports my work on behalf of home inspectors at no expense to himself.Already a ClaimsAcademy Member? Log In Register for Joe’s FREE ClaimsAcademy Video Tips Protect Yourself with ClaimIntercept Joe’s Law and Disorder Seminar is Available Online! Receive a Perfected Pre-Inspection Agreement