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Re: Signing mylars or vellums

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Dennis Wish wrote:

>There are no assurances that what you produce in your office compared to a 
>vellum in the field will hold up in court simply because it has your stamp 
>on it.  Assume, that you chose to stamp an original vellum and maintain it 
>in your office as the "original" for comparison against what is in the
field.
>Next the contractor creates a new vellum and modifies it.  In the lawsuit,
you
>produce the original to show comparisons against the forgery in the field.
>The contractor/client claims that you modified the vellum to remove the
>change he made and simply stamped it in your office.  Who is to be
>believed - the client that forged the document or the engineer who is
>portrayed to have covered up his work by creating a new "original".

I guess it partly depends upon how much you trust your client.  I would not
give sealed "original" vellums to a contractor but would give them to the
owner of the building - and I would include in my contract the limitations
on
how those originals could be used.  (I'm not sure what I would do if my
client
is the contractor instead of the owner.)

>One assurance is to have a notary public as witness to stamping both
>original and that which you release to the field - but isn't that
ridiculous.

Yes, it is ridiculous - hope it doesn't come to that.

>The most credible (IMHO) solution is to only release plans in the field
that
>are wet stamped by the EOR and the building official.  All other sets much
>compare to the set kept on record with the building department - including
>changes made in the field and hand noted on the job set.  Once the job is
>complete, the final set can be transferred to microfilm or vellum for
>permanent storage.

I only release to the field blueline copies made from the original vellum
which had my seal and signature.  I do not "wet stamp" field drawings
normally.  Thus the contractor only has a copy of my stamp.  He doesn't have
to lift my stamp from the drawing if we wants to use it illegally - he can
just go to an office supply store and have a stamp made up with my name on
it.
 I can't stop this.

>With electronic media, vellums are produced as often as bluelines in many
>instances - especially were progress sets are created during design.  I
have
>seen conditions where progress sets were used to develop preliminary bids
>for projects and the contractor ends up using a progress set during
>construction - often many iterations after the design is changed and
>finaled.

Progress sets either should not be sealed or should include a note which
states that the drawing is not for construction.  The final drawings should
be
the only sets given to the contractor which show a signed seal and do not
note
any limitations.  Revised drawings should clearly show revisions and the
contractor should be notified in writing of the reissued revised drawing.

I mainly work on large projects and am surprised to hear that the so called
"originals" with the wet stamp are given to the contractor to use in the
field.  We always keep the sealed originals in our office and only issue
bluelines (with a copy of the seal) to the field until construction is
complete.  Then the "originals" are sent to the client/owner after the
project
is complete (if required by our contract).