In some cases, the answer may be yes. There are basically two legal hurdles that must be overcome. First, as a general rule municipalities, including counties, are immune from suit under the North Carolina Constitution. This is referred to as governmental immunity. However, immunity is waived if the municipality has purchased liability insurance - as many counties and cities have. Secondly, for a long time the Court protected inspectors from liability under a legal premise known as the Public Duty Doctrine. This complicated doctrine basically provides that unless the inspector has undertaken a special relationship with the homeowner, then that person is immune from suit. If this sounds vague - it is. Even so, very recently, our appellate court has held that safety inspectors had liability for a jail fire that killed many inmates - contending that a special relationship existed between the inspector and the incarcerated inmates.