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E&O Insurance (was Signing Plans)

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There is another issue of financial responsibility. I KNOW that there are NO
structural engineers that EVER make a mistake, but please allow this
hypothetical situation. Suppose an owner hires an architect who then hires
this hypothetical structural engineer (or civil engineer doing structural
engineering). Say this hypothetical engineer actually makes a mistake which
leads to a legitimate errors & omissions claim and subsequent lawsuit. The
owner sues the architect. Normally, the architect would then sue the
engineer for damages relating to his/her work. However, since the engineer
has no insurance, the architect determines that it probably is not
worthwhile to sue the engineer since the cost of litigation probably would
not be recovered. The architect ends up paying for the engineer's mistake.

Is this right? Shouldn't the engineer bear financial responsibility for
his/her mistakes?

Bill Allen

-----Original Message-----
From: GRileyPE(--nospam--at) [mailto:GRileyPE(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Sunday, August 02, 1998 10:11 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Signing Plans


I respect both your convictions to your principals and your ability to
articulate these through your valid and valuable professional experience (I
have also reviewed some of your plans and I respect your engineering
decisions). I just happen to be a believer in having insurance due to my
professional experience. What I do concur with is your principal philosophy
doing the best job possible both technically and professionally. As long as
one's design philosophy is consistent with the building code and the
of materials and one is able to articulate this through proper
we (structural engineers and other design professionals) should "ok" the
overwhelming majority of the time.


Greg Riley PE