Cafferata v. Richmond Home Inspection
Judge Philip Straniere
Cafferata commenced two small claims actions against Richmond Home Inspection (RHI) and Post Exterminating (PE) arguing he was induced to purchase the subject premises, but incurred costs from their gross negligence in performing their various inspections. RHI denied any liability asserting all of the damage Cafferata alleged existed was hidden, thus not observable upon reasonable inspection. Also, RHI claimed the report information was sufficient to alert Cafferata there was a potential water problem that he should have used to question sellers. The court noted there was nothing in the record to establish RHI's actions rose to the level of gross negligence to make it liable for the alleged damages. Yet, RHI failed to establish the existence of a license, entitling Cafferata to the $400 fee paid, plus $50 for violation of General Business Law §349 for deceptive business practices. Further, the court noted the inspector for RHI and PE was the same. Cafferata argued PE failed to discover termite damage to the premises upon inspection. The court noted there was no penalty in the Environmental Conservation Law for an improper inspection, and as PE did not treat termites at Cafferata's home, there was no redress against it, granting PE dismissal.