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Re: Engineer's Liability vis-a-vis Shop Drawing Review

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Harold Sprague wrote:
> I was in Kansas City when the skywalks came down, and I followed the
> developments closely.  I was indirectly involved in some of the aspects of
> aftermath of the tragedy.
> As I recall, Judge Deutsch's ruling essentially said that the structural
> engineer was responsible for all structural aspects of the finished
> structure and could not absolve himself of portions.  The structural
> engineer also could not assign portions of the responsibility to others.
> The case can be reviewed in detail and is:
> Missouri Board for Architects, Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors vs.
> Daniel M. Duncan, Jack D. Gillum and G.C.E. International, Inc., before the
> Administrative Hearing Commission, State of Missouri, Case No. AR840239,
> Statement of the Case, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Decision
> rendered by Judge James B. Deutsch, November 14, 1985.
> The document contains the findings and a discussion of responsibilities of
> the professional engineer.
> The changes to the engineering registration laws throughout the US generally
> followed the Missouri experience.
> My Missouri registration fee also went up.
> Regards,
> Harold Sprague
> The Neenan Company
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Laurence B. Oeth III [mailto:viacalx(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Sunday, March 14, 1999 2:08 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject: Engineer's Liability vis-a-vis Shop Drawing Review
> 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.
Thanks for your kind and helpful information.  I will research the case
reference you provided.  Seems though, that there should be more case
law on this, given the potential number of conflicts every day.

Larry Oeth