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Daze of Confusion and Liability Issues

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In a message dated 8/16/99 10:18:11 PM Pacific Daylight Time, SDGSE(--nospam--at)aol.com 
writes:

<< 
 I hope this comforts you, as we are in the same boat.
 
 Oshin Tosounian, S.E. >>

Not exactly comforting. I remembered the mid and late 80's in the city of Los 
Angeles when we were struggling with the provisions for Unreinforced Masonry 
Retrofit using the ABK Methodology which later became the Appendix to Chapter 
1 of UCBC. Inasmuch as the code did not follow tributary distribution of 
forces (pure flexible diaprhagm) approach, the community spent a few years in 
heated debate with plan check engineers and other members of the profession 
to "tweak out" the code and gain a full understanding of what the intent was 
and how it was best applied.
The discouraging fact is that engineers are being pulled into court today for 
misinterpreting the intent of the ordinance (since at the time it was not 
codified and was simply a Rule of General Application (RGA) in Los Angeles).  
I was one of those who worked for a company that was draged into a lawsuit. I 
was quickly dropped from the suit when it was discovered that the particular 
project under question was not my design nor was it stamped by me - I had 
left the company a month before it's submittal.

So, as Oshin might suggest, it may be years before we get dragged into legal 
battles to defend something that none of use are really sure of. One defense 
is to document all of these issues so at some point in the future they can be 
thrown back at the professionals who choose to act as expert witness against 
those of us who made mistakes simply because we were not provided the 
appropriate responses and tools to define the intent of the code.

A sobering thought at best.
Dennis Wish PE