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bob_46 Member Posts: 813
Felony criminally negligent homicide for both the plumber and the building inspector.

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  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Link to Same Article

    Hi Bob-

       Thanks for posting this article. Here's a link to the same article posted in another paper which might be easier reading for some. http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20100726/NEWS/100729872/1077&ParentProfile=1058
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,904
    About time

    such people were prosecuted!
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666

    As a homeowner, I agree that such people should be prosecuted. We pay taxes to operate local government, and hefty fees for building permits (required for things like kitchen remodeling and boiler replacement). These fees are allegedly for the cost of reviewing plans and inspecting the work done. Now if these fees are collected and the reviews and inspections are not done properly, a fraud has been committed against the homeowner, and probably against the town as well. And when that results in loss of life, I am surprised the possible sentences are so small.

    Where I live, the various inspectors seem to be quite variable. When my kitchen was remodeled, the electrical inspector came out three times. He insisted on seeing the wiring before the wall was replaced. I do not happen to think he was a good inspector, but at least he went through all the motions. When the boiler was replaced, there was a gas inspector, a plumbing inspector, and an electrical inspector. I doubt the plumbing inspector knew very much about hydronic heating.

    Some of the inspectors seem to have full-time jobs doing something else, like working for building supply places, etc., and inspect on their lunch hours or after work. Some may be full time. Some seem friends of the contractors and just give a glance at the work.

    For my boiler, the plumbing inspector did not check that the intake and exhaust pipes for the boiler were glued at all the joints. I happen to have watched the contractor and they were glued, but I do not know how well. But in the news story, apparently they were not. Well, perhaps the guy who reviewed the plans saw that they were supposed to be glued and supported, so he passed on the plans. But the inspector probably should have ensured that they were glued and supported properly.

    Since this does not apply to the home heating job itself, I remark that I paid about $350 for the building permit, so I feel that at $70/hour I am entitled to 5 hours of inspector time, and I sure did not get that. I wonder where the rest of the money went. None of my business, I guess, but do inspectors get paid that? Or does the town pocket it as profit?
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    This is a precedent setting situation here....

    Case law has already been proven over in the U.K. where land lords, contractors and inspectors are prosecuted on a regular basis. As the county Attorney said, he has no case law with which to refer to. He doesn't know how to defend his employees?

    I think it also goes to show that the long reach of the law can reach through what has typically been considered untouchable territory, that being the realm of the Authority Having Jurisdiction. I am just surprised it stopped where it did.

    I am also amazed at how long it took this Grand Jury to come to a decision. They've been in sessions for a LONG time, like almost a year and a half. Granted, this case was not their only focus, but I would have thought that they would have cleared it sooner than some of the other cases they reviewed, that they weren't assembled for.

    Double check ALL of your work to make certain it was done right.


    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    time, grand juries

    I do not know how grand juries run in California, but here in New Jersey, they meet once a week from about 8 or 9 AM until about 3 PM. Normally, each case takes only about 15 minutes. The defendents are almost never there, just typically the prosecutor and one wittness. Cases are usually robbery, B&E, or assault and battery. A small assortment of other cases. One of the cases I was on took 3 or 4 weeks, though. Remember, a grand jury never convicts anyone of anything. They can indict someone, who would then get a trial by a petit jury, they can no-bill and the defendent gets off, they can remand the case to a lower (generally municipal) court. The last thing they can do is make a presentment.

    So 12 to 18 months really could have been 3 to 5 hours of grand jury time. Remember, they probably had lots of assault and robbery cases to deal with at the same time.
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