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Firm Sued Over Fractures in Steel Frames in Quake.[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org
- Subject: Firm Sued Over Fractures in Steel Frames in Quake.
- From: FEMCCLURE(--nospam--at)aol.com
- Date: Wed, 29 Jan 1997 05:51:37 -0500 (EST)
- Cc: ROH(--nospam--at)eqe.com, FredT5(--nospam--at)aol.com
In the Thursday, January 23, 1997, Los Angeles Times, is an article concerning a BILLION dollar class-action lawsuit filed by the firm Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro in the Los Angeles Superior Court accusing the manufacturer of the welding materials used in the construction of the welded steel moment frame buildings that were damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake of making and marketing a weld metal that poses "an unreasonable risk of damage" to building owners and the public. Will this lawsuit have a "chilling" influence on the Structural Engineers Association of California, Applied Technology Council and California Universities for Research In Earthquake Engineering (SAC) Program for the Evaluation, Repair and Modification and Design of of Steel Moment Frames? Will the SAC Investigators be willing to present their findings and recommendations concerning the use of certain welding procedures in the usual professional manner that other engineering findings and recommendations are presented to the structural engineering profession with this Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro and other similar lawsuits in the background? Should the SAC Investigators excuse themselves from continuing to serve on the SAC Project if they take commissions to be expert witnesses for either side in the above Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro and other similar lawsuits concerning the performance of welded steel moments frame buildings in the 1989 Loma Prieta and 1994 Northridge earthquakes because of a possible conflict of interest? Will these SAC Investigators have an unfair advantage as expert witnesses with their advanced and "insider" knowledge and information concerning the seismic performance of the welded steel frame buildings and the results of the latest, yet unpublished research concerning the testing and other investigations of welded steel frame buildings which is not readily available to other engineers? Does it make a difference in the timing of the full and immediate disclosure of the findings and recommendations that result from the SAC Program in that the SAC Program is funded mostly by FEMA funds - the public's money - as compared with similar research projects funded by private funds? What will be the influence of the Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro and other similar lawsuits on the practice of structural engineering in the United States? It would appear that structural engineers should know more about welding and what welding materials to specify than to just referencing the usual national standards in their specifications to protect themselves from potential professional liability lawsuits? Frank E. McClure FEMCCLURE(--nospam--at)aol.com January 29, 1997
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