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Engineer's duty to public safety?

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     As i saw the house in Laguna Beach, CA fall down the hill on TV last week
i thought of a house i had provided soil creep caisson foundation retrofit
plans for 2 1/2  years ago that went into litigation ( N.R. earthquake) with
the insurance co. and was never repaired. The owners have volumes of
geotechnical reports that state the potential landslide problems. The safety
factor is less than one during an earthquake or with the water table in the
top few feet of the surface ( which it has been during some of the past soil
investigations ). The house was built in 1929 and an inadequate amount of
soldier piles were added in 1980. It is about 4" out of level now. It has
moved downslope 1 to 2 inches. I am concerned all the other experts are so
concerned with the litigation work ( which i prefer to stay out of, so i am
out of the current picture ), that they may not be advising the owners about
the houses' structural safety.
     I have not been to the house in 2 1/2 years, My question is: should i
assume the forensic engineers are advising the owners as to the building's
stability, which i suspect is not significantly over one . Have they taken
over my liability or are all the engineers who have been hired in the last ten
years on the hook ( probably ) ? . It seemed very shaky when i was there .
This is a 100' +, 1 to 1 slope hill with the house at the top and an ancient
land slide at the base. If you were in my position , when do you
insist/threaten that the owners move out . They do not want to move out. When
do you write the building department about an unsafe condition. What is our
duty versus what about our liability for condeming a project where we are not
currently the engineer of record? When the building is falling apart and there
are many expert/forensic engineers , who is the engineer of record? Do
engineers working for lawyers/ insurance companies have a duty to advise the
building owner directly if an unsafe condition is apparent? Does this bring
them liability? It may be easy to speculate about the high road but i would
like to hear about real experiences pricipal engineers of small firms have had
with similar situations.
      My current thought is to call the owner and reemphasize the instability
of the house with a strong emphasis that they should vacate the house, but i
know they will not be able to afford to move out and keep paying for the
house. The last time i said this 2 1/2 years ago the wife was in tears and the
husband was close. The next step would be to send a letter to the building
department ( does this do any good? ) . It is a tough situation.

     Thanks in advance.

     Tom Harris, SE
     Thousand Oaks, CA