Home inspector ignores fire hazard, avoids lawsuit

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Dear Barry, When I bought my house, the home inspector reported no problems with the main electrical panel. After moving in, my insurance company wrote to request a photo of the panel. I sent the photo, and they replied with a cancellation notice, stating that Federal Pacific breaker panels are fire hazards and must be replaced. The new panel cost me $1,050. When I called the home inspector, he admitted that Federal Pacific panels are hazardous but said he had no obligation to tell me this. He said that 30 percent of the homes he inspects have these panels and that routine disclosures of this kind would cause many deals to fall out of escrow, exposing him to lawsuits from sellers. This sounds crazy to me and has me considering Small Claims Court against the inspector. Do you think he is liable? --Ellen Dear Ellen, Your inspector should be nominated for the Dirty Nerve Award of the year. His stated position exceeds the normal boundaries of professional outrage. Any reasonable inspect...