From: "Barry H. Welliver" <wellive(--nospam--at)attglobal.net>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 11:20:21 -0700
As much as I'd like to recover space in my garage, I agree with Roger that the
value of your original records outweighs the satisfaction of the "show me where
it's wrong" attitude.
Furthermore it could help reconstruct the "why you did what you did" questions
that inevitably get asked.
Barry H. Welliver
Roger Turk wrote:
> Jim Lutz wrote:
> >>I would recommend that you throw all that stuff away. If anybody ever does
> want to sue you, they will just use it for ammunition. Have you ever done a
> set of calcs that you didn't find a mistake or two in later, or wish you had
> checked one more thing? Make them work for it! Those old calcs in the attic
> are just loaded pistols waiting to be misused.<<
> Throwing them out would be like playing Russian Roulette with an automatic
> CNA/Schinnerer's booklet, "The Litigation Process," states:
> "_Never alter, destroy or dispose of the original records._ Any alteration
> of existing records will either be obvious or subject to detection by experts
> in document analysis. Changes might be viewed by a jury as an admission that
> there is something to hide or cover up. Changes to clarify records, to make
> them more legible or to add missing information, even if made in 'good
> faith,' are subject to misinterpretation by a jury. The plaintiff's
> attorneys have access to experts in document authentication." [Emphasis
> included in the original.]
> Getting rid of records throws away *any* chance for you to prove how
> carefully you performed the analysis/design, and if a mistake was made, the
> records would show where and how a mistake was made. Without the original
> records, the result of any mistake would be subject to speculation by the
> opposing expert. What would you rather have; the opposing expert saying,
> "The only explanation that I can come up with is that [the engineer]
> completely ignored recognized design procedures and engineering principles to
> arrive at [the design]," or, "Yes, I reviewed [the engineer's] structural
> calculations and his approach was very thorough, however, [the engineer] did
> make an error on sheet ## which was not caught in checking or back checking
> which resulted in [an inadequate structure]"?
> By destroying your records, you don't make the opposing side "work for it;"
> you hand them all the ammunition that they need on a silver platter!
> A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
> Tucson, Arizona