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RE: Statute of Limitations

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I am often reminded how verbose I can be in response to threads. The point I
wanted to make, which I hope was not lost, is that we must be ethically
responsible for our work. I firmly believe that the problem should be
addressed without regard of legal recourse. If, after doing the best you can
to defuse the situation you find that an error occurred - take
responsibility for your actions. If you find the problem was not a result of
your error - defend yourself to the limit after you assisted in resolving
the problem.  I firmly believe that if the engineer acts responsibly the
chances for legal recourse are greatly diminished.
My comments regarding the storage life of documents are intended as a reply
to the abuse of the legal system and do not consider the value of
maintaining documents to perpetuate the work relationship you have with a
At this stage of my life I tend to be more pessimistic of the intentions of
those who are capable and willing to abuse the system than act in the best
interest of the truth regardless of who hired them. In my opinion, expert
witnesses should be chosen and paid by the court in the same manner as the
judge, officers of the court, court clerks and those who provide
transcription. This is the only way that I can see that would keep the
witnesses unbiased. It would also provide tremendous strength in reducing
the number of frivolous suits.

Dennis S. Wish, PE

-----Original Message-----
From: JGPE1(--nospam--at) [mailto:JGPE1(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Saturday, March 18, 2000 3:28 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Statute of Limitations

There is no easy answer. It seems different engineers have different
practices or policies. I must agree with Roger that saving design documents
is more appropriate than discarding them. Also, I agree with Dennis, that
cannot be liable for over design however you will lose clients if they
believe the "engineer down the street" can design for less money. ( Now I
wonder who his insurance carrier and lawyer are?)

In New York, I was told, " If you sign and seal a document, then you are
responsible for it, forever" however long that may be. That's why I save all
my documents.( One reason I have a Basement).

John G., P.E.