$100,000 Termite Inspection Claim Damage Settlement
In Maryland, the Wood Destroying Insect Inspection, or WDI, is a critical step towards purchasing a home. However, some termite inspection companies that perform termite inspections are negligent and do not find termite damage due to an incomplete inspection, or not performing any inspection at all. The result is that the new homeowner moves in and eventually finds termite damage in their new home. When this happens, the homeowner’s options are limited because they have already bought the termite damaged house, yet they now have termite damage that needs to be repaired.
Homeowners who buy a house with termite damage should contact the termite damage repair lawyers at Whitney, LLP for a legal consultation.
Annapolis Termite Inspector Missed Termite Damage
Before finalizing the purchase of their home in Annapolis, MD, our clients hired PestNow to perform a Wood Destroying Insect (“WDI”) inspection. A WDI inspection under Maryland law requires a licensed pest control company such as PestNow to perform a careful visual inspection and thorough examination of all accessible areas of the structure. Maryland regulations instruct termite inspectors to pay particular attention to the basement and crawl space as areas where an active termite infestation, termite damage, evidence of past termite treatment or conditions conducive to infestation may be found.
In a lawsuit recently settled by Whitney, LLP, the PestNow WDI inspection report did not find any evidence of termites or termite damage. Based on the report, our clients went to closing. Shortly after closing on the house and moving in, our clients saw large numbers of winged insects in and around a window in their living room. The PestNow technician returned to the home, shined a flashlight on the insects and proclaimed them to be “carpenter ants.” Our clients then sought a second opinion.
A second pest control company came to the house and immediately recognized the insects as termite swarmers. Such termites are in the reproductive phase where they emerge from mud tunnels. Such mud tunnels were observed in the home’s crawlspace. The crawlspace also had obvious evidence of past termite treatment and conditions conductive to infestation. In short, the house had a major, long-term termite infestation and termite damage.
A deposition of the PestNow technician yielded surprising testimony. The PestNow technician had failed to enter the crawlspace. His explanation? He did not think the house had a crawlspace. This technician had further failed to detect significant termite damage around the living room window which, according to the termite expert retained by Whitney, LLP, should have been seen by the PestNow inspector through visual inspection and/or probing the infested wood.
After filing the termite damage lawsuit alleging a negligent termite inspection, and after taking all of the necessary depositions, Whitney, LLP’s settled our clients’ termite damage case for $100,000. The $100,000 settlement provided our clients with sufficient compensation to hire contractors to perform the needed extermination treatments, remediation and restoration repairs to their home, and to compensate them for the emotional distress caused by the situation.
When to Sue the Termite Inspection Company
When a termite inspection company misses a termite infestation before the closing, and the new owner inherits termite damage, the homebuyer has a legal claim against the termite inspection company. WDI inspection companies who miss termite damage that they should have detected, or provide an inaccurate description of the extent of termite damage in a home, may be liable to the new homebuyers for not only the cost of the termite damage, but also the homebuyer’s attorney’s fees and other economic damages.
Lawyer for New Home Termite Damage Repair Costs
If you have just bought a house and found termite damage, contact Whitney, LLP for a Legal Consultation. Our attorneys for missed termite damage by the termite inspector may be able to obtain compensation for you to pay for termite damage repair and other related expenses.
We represent homebuyers in termite inspection legal claims across Maryland, including in Annapolis, Baltimore, Columbia, Germantown, Hagerstown, Silver Spring, Waldorf, Upper Marlboro, Frederick, Glen Burnie, Ellicott City, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Dundalk, Bethesda, Bowie, Towson and Bel Air. Call us at 410 583 8000 or use our Quick Contact Form.