Inspector faces manslaughter trial

October 4th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

A former inspector for Aspen, CO faces criminal negligent homicide charges for the death of a family due to carbon monoxide poisoning.  A pipe from the boiler used to melt driveway snow was disconnected allowing carbon monoxide to enter the residence. The inspector had signed off on the work.  The city of Aspen, ICC, the county and the Colorado Municipal League have called for a dismissal of the charges.  The inspector is asking that the charges be dismissed due to the immunity granted to public employees by state law.  This is the first time I’ve come across such a case.  It is quite troubling and contrary to most of the caselaw in this country that discusses the public duty doctrine which states that inspectors owe a duty to the general public but not specific individuals in most cases.  This is a good example of how a tragedy can lead to some questionable law enforcement decisions. I would have a different viewpoint if the case involved bribery or some other type of unlawful behavior but there is nothing like that in this case.  I have seen many cases where there has been negligence by building inspectors but have never even considered that the proper remedy would be criminal prosecution.

  1. Al Putnam
    October 6th, 2011 at 10:33 | #1

    Nothing surprises me anymore. I would bet that there were alterations after the inspection, IF, one could return and get the truth.
    BUT,remember the feasance sisters…….

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