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Plan Reuse Fee

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Oshin,

First of all, I would not accept liability for anything before an event 
occurred.  I accept *responsibility* for my plans and specifications and 
contend that I am not liable for anything until a court determines liability.

>>The architect has agreed to waive his rights to the "reuse fee" and 
accepted a fee and liability for the design of the model building only.<<

The architect may have assumed liability (pity, pity, pity) for the model 
building only, i.e., gave up without a fight or a claim being made, but 
he/she is still *responsible* for everything on the plans and specifications 
each and every time the plans are used.  If some event occurs in building 2, 
10, or 50, and it is claimed that the event was caused by a deficiency in the 
plans and/or specifications, the architect will still have to defend 
him-/herself.

As for you, do you want to accept the blame (guilty before being charged) for 
any claim that might be made in building 1 and still be responsible for any 
possible structural defects on your plans and/or specifications for buildings 
2 thru 100 without getting compensated for it?

Remember the instructions on your auto insurance card:  "Do not admit to 
being at fault [*liable*] if you are in an accident."  Would you admit to 
being at fault, i.e., *liable*, for any accident that you may be in every 
morning before you even turned the key in your ignition?

Some responses have suggested that you get a "hold harmless" agreement from 
the developer.  The liklihood is (in order of occurence) is that the 
developer will first:

   -  Go bankrupt
   -  Sell the development
   -  Die (if not a corporation)
   -  Cannot be found
   -  Corporation protects officers from personnal liability.
   -  Corporation has no assets (i.e., has been milked from day one).

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

Oshin Tosounian wrote:

>>I have a project which consists of an eight-unit, three story apartment 
building block that will be repeated about 100 times on the same site, 
totaling 800 or so apartment units to be owned, built, and maintained as a 
rental property by the same developer.

In negotiating the structural design fee, I am asking for a lump sum fee for 
the model building plus an additional per use fee for each additional 
building to be built on the site. The architect has agreed to waive his 
rights to the "reuse fee" and accepted a fee and liability for the design of 
the model building only. 

The owner wants me to accept the same arrangement as the architect has agreed 
to, but I am not comfortable with that and am about the inform the architect 
of my disinterest. Before I do that, I would appreciate some comments from 
others who had similar experiences. Remember that these are apartment 
buildings and not condominium units. However, my feeling is that it may be 
possible to convert the apartments into condominiums in the future.<<