BOULDER, Colo. (March 19, 2021) – After four years of litigation, on the eve of trial, and just days after Nick Gromicko defeated ASHI in Federal court, the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (EBPHI) abandoned its lawsuit against Nick Gromicko and International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI®).
In a lawsuit originally filed in federal court in Chicago in 2017, EBPHI alleged that Nick Gromicko said that EBPHI’s National Home Inspection Exam (NHIE) was a “joke,” a “stupid piece of crap,” and “not even psychometrically valid.”
After that case was dismissed, it was refiled in Colorado in 2018, and Gromicko vigorously defended himself on many different grounds, including his belief that the NHIE is not a high-quality, minimum-competency test for home inspectors. Nick insisted in the lawsuit that his opinions about the NHIE were justified, accurate, and protected by the U.S. Constitution. As supporting evidence, Nick’s defense team pointed to an article in the January 2018 ASHI Reporter in which EBPHI’s leadership admitted that the NHIE had become overbroad. The article states that the NHIE was testing on various ancillary services that are outside the scope of a general home inspection.
EBPHI confirmed what Nick already knew through a survey it conducted in 2017. It is interesting to note that EBPHI conducted this survey prior to refiling its lawsuit against Nick. Then, in January 2019, EBPHI quietly revised the NHIE to narrow its scope, just as Nick had been recommending. This revision confirmed that Nick was right – the NHIE was testing on topics outside the scope of the job of a home inspector for almost a decade.
It is not known how many inspectors were damaged by the NHIE during the years when test takers were subjected to questions outside the scope of the job of a home inspector. As we all know, you can fail any exam by answering merely one question incorrectly. And no one knows how many people lost their livelihood as a result of a professional competence and licensing exam that was too broad. What we know is that the EBPHI’s effort to silence Nick’s criticisms failed. Nick is the preeminent figure in the home inspection industry, and he proved in court that the NHIE did not test what it promised to test.
During the lawsuit, the judge ordered EBPHI to produce its exam materials to InterNACHI®. But EBPHI flatly refused to do so. After disobeying multiple court orders to produce the NHIE questions and answers so that the flaws in the exam could be exposed, EBPHI made a virtually unprecedented move. On March 8, 2021, just days before trial was to begin, EBPHI (the plaintiff) withdrew its case. EBPHI was obviously unwilling to give Nick the opportunity to speak to a jury of his peers.
In an interview, Nick said, “This is better than winning at trial.” He continued, “Now, everyone knows that the EBPHI fears the truth.”
After EBPHI abandoned its own case, Nick said, “EBPHI jumped out of the ring because they could not withstand the beating they were going to take from me at trial.” He continued, “EBPHI knows it was asking questions that had nothing to do with home inspections, and flunking experienced, knowledgeable inspectors who either had to pay again to take the NHIE or abandon their chosen career.”
Gromicko noted that questions persist about the NHIE. “The trial would have revealed precisely what was wrong with the NHIE, but EBPHI abandoned its own lawsuit to keep its secrets from becoming public.”
Fortunately, the public will know that EBPHI once again collaborated with its failing partner organization, ASHI, to pursue consolidated defamation claims against InterNACHI® and Nick Gromicko. Using the same attorneys and asserting identical claims for damages in consolidated lawsuits, EBPHI and its partner, ASHI, both lost in court against Gromicko and InterNACHI®.
More information about ASHI losing again in court can be found at www.nachi.org/ashi-loses-again