This Note examines the North Carolina Court of Appeal's decision in Sinning v. Clark. First, the Note briefly reviews governmental immunity in code enforcement cases. Second, the Note provides an historical overview of the public duty doctrine and examines the legal analysis which other jurisdictions have used to reject the public duty doctrine in inspection cases. Next, the Note discusses North Carolina's concept of governmental immunity and surveys North Carolina's application of the public duty doctrine, including the doctrine's application in Lynn v. Overlook Development. Fourth, the Note analyzes the Sinning court's application of the public duty doctrine in light of the supreme court's decision in Lynn and analyzes how other jurisdictions have handled similar cases and if those methods would be applicable to North Carolina. Finally, the Note concludes that the North Carolina Court of Appeals erred by not following the supreme court's analysis in Lynn and suggests that the "special duty" exception to the public duty doctrine applies in building code enforcement cases.
Frank Swindell, Municipal Liability for Negligent Inspections in Sinning v. Clark - A 'Hollow' Victory for the Public Duty Doctrine, 18 Campbell L. Rev. 241 (1996).