To: rdunbar(--nospam--at)uswest.net, seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: UBC/LA City Code and Lateral Design Forces
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 22:47:20 EST
To: Mr Dennis Wish and all others interested:
I have been following your exhaustive efforts on this subject and have
noticed your apparent frustration. I would like to make some comments to
your recent posting.
First, as to the issue of Standard of Care regarding an engineer's design,
the standard of care which a design professional must adhere to is a factual
issue in a jury trial, decided by a panel of jurors; a judge sitting in such
trial cannot decide this issue. Such standard of care is defined in BAJI (
Jury Instruction). In general terms, it is the applicable and acceptable
standard of care which is prevailing in the engineering community. Hence the
role of "experts" to define such "Acceptable and Applicable" standard to a
Second, as to your suggestion of possible litigation to declare a certain
applicable and enforceable standard of care, and in line of the
aforementioned comments, it may not be a possible option. Further,
litigation must invove a controversy or dispute between two or more parties;
in this scenario, and unless you name and serve a "defendant" a case cannot
be litigated in a court. You may however name the entity responsible for
issuing the UBC(?) as a defendant and litigate the validity and /or ambiguity
of the specfic code requirements in a declaratory relief action; it's a long
shot by all means!!
Third, the UBC is the applicable code in determining a standard of care for
engineers. Having said that, I must add that it is my understanding that the
L.A. City code is at an equal level to the UBC, at least within the city of
L.A., as it is considered a more stringent building code. Therefore,
applying the L.A. city requirements, in regards to lateral force
distribution, apparently may shield an engineer from potential liability in
this particular case.
I hope this was a meaningfull addition to this discussion.