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My corporation is currently involved in a project for which it prepared a
Geotechnical Report; designed a system to stabilize a slope; produced plans
and specifications; and is in the process of submitting a bid (under its
Contractor's License Type A).  The corporation will also act as the
Construction Manager (if the successful bid is awarded to another firm) and
serve as the special inspector.

I was concerned that such an all-encompassing scope would be perceived as a
conflict of interest.  However, after re-considering, I pondered the
following facts:

(1)     If the contract cannot be completed for one reason or another; if a
failure occurs; if one of the subcontractors files a claim; or if a claim is
filed for no valid reason except that two parties cannot agree or are
involved in a some kind of dispute;  the design consultant will most
assuredly be named as a defendant regardless of its comparative
negligence -- attorneys would be negligent if they failed to bring in as
many parties as possible so as to spread the liability as thin as possible
thereby decreasing its clients pontential for paying damages.

If a corporation is competant to design and inspect an engineering work, it
should also be competent to manage the construction.

Having been designing and inspecting engineering works for many years,  I
have determined that the best way to limit liability for oneself is not to
attempt to farm it out to others but to exercise more constrol.

It is a foregone conclusion,  that the plaintiff as well as defendents,
through direct-actions and cross-actions, respectively,  will attempt to lay
as much of blame on the other parties as is possible.   Often, parties named
in suits have absolutely no exposure, an yet they have to expend
considerable cash to defend the suit or risk losing by default.  Would
anyone out there disagree with this statement?

In other words, a company is going to get f--ked, it might-as-well get
kissed first.

L. Thomas Bayne

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sprague, Harold O." <SpragueHO(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2000 10:22 AM

> Wladimir,
> I am frequently involved in both design-build and in design only.  I have
> seen poor quality structural inspection by inspectors and by designers.
> far as the conflict of interest goes, I guess I really haven't seen it,
> I don't see it as a problem.  What I have seen is unqualified people
> performing special inspections.  That is why I like the concept of
> certification programs such as the ICBO.   I also like the concept of a
> Special Inspector of Record who is a licensed PE, directs all of the
> inspectors, and acts as a liaison between the designer and the special
> inspectors in the field.  Take a look at the special inspection manual of
> Kansas City, MO.
> Regards,
> Harold Sprague
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Wladimir Bassett A. [SMTP:wbassett(--nospam--at)]
> > Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2000 10:02 AM
> > To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> >
> > Hello fellow engineers !! :
> >
> > I would like to hear your opinions on the subject when supervision is
> > carried out by the job designer, i.e., civil works (which include
> > structures) inspection by the strctural engineer, electrical works by
> > the E.E. designer,..etc.
> >
> > I am worried here because alleging conflict of interest the supervision
> > by the designers should be prohibited by a new National Construction
> > Council to be implemented these days.
> >
> > I thank you very much in advance
> >
> >                                                     Wladimir Bassett A.
> >                                                     Managua, NICARAGUA
> >