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Lightning - CSST - Loss of Life

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This was on the local NBC TV station this evening (01/31/2014). Another chapter of this story will be on tomorrow evening (02/01/2014).

Issues with CSST just don't seem to go away.

A local DFW inspector is currently being sued due to a home that burned to the ground following a lighting strike that had "some" CSST installed. Lightning hit the home almost a year after he did the inspection. Insurance company is pointing fingers at everyone. Not sure how it will turn out for the inspector.

Lightning Strikes home w/CSST. Burns and there is loss of life.

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He posted this on Inspection News

I don't see any need to name him or his company. Just bad luck he was caught in the crossfire, IMO.

Default "I just got sued: Lightning strike and CSST

Just this week I received notice from an insurance company's legal firm that they are seeking a $103,000 reimbursement check from me for fire damage sustained from a lightning strike on a home I inspected 3 years ago.

The lightning strike happened a year and half ago. The legal team went after the Ward company claiming defective csst. The Ward legal people pointed the finger at me because I failed to follow TREC sop "The inspector shall report as deficient appliances and metal pipes that are not bonded or grounded.' The one time I failed to mention this deficiency, is the one time lightning strikes that particular house. What are the odds.

In the five years that I've been inspecting, only one time did I see the bonding cables on all metal piping and appliances in the attic.

My insurance company is handling this. I'll keep you guys posted."

Then a bunch of guys get on and nitter natter about what they think.

Then the HI returns to declare - his insurance company no longer wants his business.

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I'm guessing the E&O is going to instantly yield, demand the deductible and pay up.

So seldom is so little planning done in maintaining an SOP.

I believe a sharp EW could scare off the plaintiff. Bonding and grounding is designed after currents that could result in defects in a system that nominally handles manmade residential voltages. Lightning remains mysterious in some fundamental ways. Assuming the codes have a handle on anything lightning can do to a house is a fallacy. They're guessing.


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It is a "shotgun" lawsuit, they can go on for years. Honestly, if I was hired to provide litigation support to the inspectors insurance company I would be telling them to settle if they can. With all of the information that home inspectors have been subjected to over the past 8+ years on the grounding of CSST and what can happen; any inspector who sees it and does not address it in their report is amiss.

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I tell clients that it's doubtful that bonding alone will control what lightning could do. I also tell them that if CSST is not bonded, that's the first thing the tubing manufacturer will use as a reason to claim they're not responsible.

"Dear Mr Homeowner, our product is safe when installed according to our instructions. The reason you have a loss in this case is lack of proper bonding"

It's a way to shift the blame and redirect the attack at another entity.

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