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Engineer's Liability vis-a-vis Shop Draw

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Larry,

I can't cite any court cases concerning an engineers *responsibility* to 
review, detailed or otherwise, shop drawings, but I will offer my personal 
opinions.

In my very early days of engineering work after graduation, it was 
engineering practice to place reinforcing bar schedules *on the drawings.*  
These schedules gave the bar marks, sizes, dimensions, locations of bends, 
number of bars, etc.  We showed placing drawings.  We also required the 
fabricator to submit their shop drawings and schedules which were checked 
against the schedules that we had on the drawings.  I was astounded to find 
that frequently the fabricator could/did not copy the schedule correctly.  To 
this day, when I have had my druthers (i.e., when I'm the boss), I do 
*detailed* checks of shop drawings.  I have seen the stamps that are placed 
on shop drawings that say, "Checked for design intent [whatever *that* is] 
only.  Quantities and dimensions not reviewed."  I have seen stamps on 
drawings that just say, "Accepted for Record Purposes Only," with a copy of 
the stamped drawing going back to the fabricator.  My stamps say, "Approved," 
"Approved as Noted," or "Re-Submit," and to Hell with what insurance 
companies say we should or should not say!

I can envision a sharp, or even a not too sharp, lawyer getting an engineer 
in the witness chair and asking him/her what "design intent" means.  I can 
envision that lawyer also asking what would happen to the structure if an 
inadequate quantity shown on the shop drawings were installed in the 
structure;  does the quantity/dimensions shown on the shop drawings satisfy 
"design intent;" what would happen to the structure if the dimensions were 
incorrect; would the same thing have happened if the engineer had checked 
quantities and dimensions, etc., and noted the discrepancy.

I do not believe that we, as professionals, should try to foist our 
*responsibilities* off onto someone else.  If we accept our 
*responsibilities* we will not be liable.  Liability for an action or 
inaction occurs only when determined by court, or if we voluntarily accept 
the liability.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

Laurence B. Oeth III wrote:

. > I am researching what, if any, liability attends an engineer's NOT
. > reviewing shop drawings.  Or, put alternately, what is our LEGAL
. > responsibility to review shop drawings.

. > I've heard all the ethical arguments about how we need to check others'
. > interpretations of our design intent, and agree with them strongly.  BUT
. > ethics don't = $money$ and business types control our destiny, for the
. > most part.  

. > So what I need are hard, legal cases where engineers have had their
. > liability & responsibility defined regarding the link between design
. > drawings + specs and the reality of construction.  Can we contract away
. > our liability for shop drawing review?  Would the engineers in Kansas
. > City (Hyatt collapse) have been protected if they specifically &
. > conntractually avoided shop drawing review?

. > My specific interest is Oregon, California and Florida (where I'm
. > registered) but other federal and state laws may also enlighten.

. > Thanks for whatever help you may offer.