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In a message dated 97-03-08 16:11:14 EST, HARRISENGR(--nospam--at) wrote:

<<Yesterdays L.A. times ( Fri, 3-7-97 ) has a small article on page 2 of the
business section about AB746. This bill would give ( CA ) consumers 6 years
instead of the current 10  years to sue for building deficiencies. ...  I
think this is good for engineers and i support it but i wish there was more i
could do. Any ideas?>>

This bill may be a mixed blessing for engineers.  Yes, it would shorten the
statute of limitations to 6 years, which is a plus.  But, as the Legislative
Counsel noted in his Digest, " This bill would provide that a builder,
developer, contractor, subcontractor, seller of residential improvements, or
supplier, as specified, shall not be held liable for any loss or damage
occasioned by any deficiency in the design, specifications, surveying,
planning, supervision, or observation of construction of residential
improvements, unless the loss or damage is occasioned by a construction
defect, as defined."  In plain language, this means contractors and suppliers
can't be sued unless construction defects can be established.  If it becomes
tougher to sue these relatively deeper pockets, engineers with shallow
pockets may get hauled into court more often than now.

This bill, sponsored by the California Building Industry Association, is just
a reincarnation of similar past failed efforts.  The CBIA members are mostly
tract builders, and they don't have a history of doing favors for engineers.
 Their strategy this time, apparently, is to throw in something for design
professionals in hope of gaining broader support, or at least neutralizing
opposition that surfaced in previous attempts.

It will be interesting to see what positions SEAOC, CEAC, and CCAIA will take
on this bill.  If the SEAOC Board decides to support it, presumably after
weighing the merits in a more informed manner than we can as individuals,
then we should write our representatives and do likewise.  But it isn't a
given that this will be the decision.

Franklin Lew, SE

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Richard Lewis, P.E.
Missionary TECH Team

The service mission like-minded Christian organizations
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