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Re: Performance-Based Seismic Design, Potential for Increased Professional Liability

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Under our current system of design standards, if and Engineer can show the design
of a building meets with the code standard that was in force at the time of
construction, then I do not believe the engineer can be held liable in the event
of a failure during an earthquake.

If a 1982 constructed building suffered major structural damage as a result of the
1994 Northridge earthquake, and the engineer could show that the design and
construction was in significant conformance with the 1980 UBC, then it is my
belief that the Owner and or occupants do not have a valid claim against the

Is this correct?

I know anyone can sue for any reason, but I am talking about a suit that would
have enough validity to win a court case.