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Re: Engineer's Liability vis-a-vis Shop Draw

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Roger Turk wrote:
> 
> 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.
> 
Thank you for your kind reply.  Your attitude mirrors mine and,
presumably, most good practicing engineers.

If you do come across actual legal case law or statutes, I would
appreciate a "heads up."

Larry Oeth