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I agree fully with Roger. I, too, have been threatened with suit. I was
pulled in by the testing lab who was sued by the client. It did not matter
if I was liable or not, I was part of the design process and pulled into
the claim to share the compensation.
By the use of my big mouth or because I was uninsured - I was dropped from
the suit, which was paid out by the contractors and testing labs.
The contractor was also an innocent party to the mess. It stemed from a
design that was accomplished based upon values issued by a testing lab. The
building was to be retrofit. A testing lab was brought in by the clients to
do a push test and pachometer test on the structure. The lab reported that
the building was unreinforces. The design was completed a contractor chosen
and work commensed - only to hit vertical steel reinforcement in the walls.
The testing lab duplicated it's original test and found that it was
reinforced - blaming their employee for the mistake. 
The contractor and roofing sub-contractor settled due to the urgings of
their insurance company (for what I'll never know). The testing lab paid
the rest. I screamed and threated the testing lab that I would spread the
word throughout the professional community of their unethical practice.
Their lawyer even found an engineer to state that the engineer of record
was liable to clear them of a frivilous lawsuit.
When it was discovered that I operated an office from my home without
assets - the lawyers backed down.
Had I had insurance, I would probably have been forced to follow the path
that Roger described.

Dennis Wish PE

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Subject: Re: Insurance
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 1997 18:13:08 -0800
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Richard Lewis, P.E.
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