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RE: LGS - Is the Supplier Liable???

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You do have a point, however in this case there was never an engineer on the
project. The county allowed these homes to be designed by non-professionals.
The closest thing to a design professional was the supplier of the materials
who SHOULD know that a non-standard section which is outside the range of
H/t ratios as indicated in their company catalog is being ordered. They
never questioned the order - they simply filled it.

I don't believe that it is an issue of questioning the judgment of the
engineer. If a manufacture creates a product that has design restrictions,
they should be aware of them and offer reasonable advice to the public. In
Light Guage Steel construction, it has been my experience that there are
many salesman but few professionals who understand the materials. The virtue
of steel stud framing has been touted as the messiah of new technolgy -
saving the client up to 60% of his framing cost. Yes, this fact was thrown
at me yesterday by a new developer in the area who wishes to build with
steel. My experience is that it saves nothing due to increased labor costs
to assemble headers, screw members together, create additional connections
for wood to steel and add to the project the cost of engineering in area's
that don't accept it as simple HUD compliance or Conventional Framing.

Those that manufacture a material must have some responsility to ensure it
safe usage - this is only ethical. It may not be legal or required, but I'll
bet in court a lawyer can make a great argument for it.

Thanks for the advice.


Dennis Wish PE
La Quinta, California
ICQ# 6110557

"Silence is the virtue of fools."
Francis Bacon

|-----Original Message-----
|From: Christopher Wright [mailto:chrisw(--nospam--at)]
|Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 1998 9:28 PM
|To: SEAOC Newsletter
|Subject: Re: LGS - Is the Supplier Liable???
|>I believe that the manufacture was responsible to notify the client that a
|>section ordered was not a stock item and exceeded the recommended web
|>crippling ratio before every supplying the materials. They claim that they
|>simply supplied what was ordered and did not question if an engineer
|>calculated the member or not.
|I don't see how the manufacturer would know the final service intended
|for the structurals. The engineer who specified the members should have
|known whether or not they'd meet spec. evaluation for possible web
|crippling clearly calls for an engineering judgement. If the standard of
|care for a supplier is to look over an engineer's shoulder and comment on
|suitability maybe you have a small corner of a case, but I doubt that any
|supplier is held to such a standard.
|Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
|chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
|___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)