Thanks for sharing this.
Jeff Coronado, S.E.
West Covina, CA
----- Original Message -----
From: "Nels Roselund, SE" <njineer(--nospam--at)att.net>
Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2001 9:54 PM
Subject: Re: Means and Methods
> Regarding our discussion of means and methods, here is an article from the
> DPIC eNewsletter.
> DPIC Newsletter:
> The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that an architect cannot be held
> responsible for jobsite safety lacking evidence he or she had supervisory
> responsibility over on-site work.
> In the case, an excavation worker was killed in a trench collapse while
> installing drainage for a school baseball field. The architect prepared
> design specifications for the project that called for shoring of the
> trenches. The specifications stated that the excavation company was to do
> the shoring and that the architect had no responsibility for inspection.
> A wrongful death lawsuit was brought against the school board and the
> architect by the decedent's widow. (The board had not hired a general
> contractor and shared responsibility with the architect for project
> coordination and scheduling.) The architect filed for summary judgment
> claiming there was no evidence that he was responsible for the shoring or
> inspection or that he was aware that bracing or shoring was not being
> A trial court granted the motion, but an appellate court reversed the
> decision on the grounds that there were still questions as to whether the
> architect was negligent regarding site supervision.
> The state supreme court ruled that, based on the present record, there was
> no evidence that the architect was negligent regarding site supervision.
> court said that the facts did not establish that the architect breached
> duty of care by failing to supervise the jobsite. However, the court did
> support the appellate court ruling that summary judgment should be denied
> and further discovery regarding the architect's responsibility was
> warranted. It said that the plaintiff should have the right to conduct
> discovery regarding the architect's supervisory duties on related projects
> performed for the client.
> This New Jersey case (Pfenninger v. Hunterdon Central Regional High
> March 13, 2001) provides further evidence that design firms should avoid
> responsibility for jobsite safety. Evidence working in the architect's
> * The design specification placed responsibility for the bracing and
> with the excavation company.
> * The architect was not required to perform jobsite inspections of the
> * The architect did not have stop-work authority.
> * The record did not establish that the architect had knowledge that the
> trenches were not braced or shored.
> Visit DPIC's Loss Prevention Library at www.dpic.com for further
> regarding jobsite safety.
> Nels Roselund
> Structural Engineer
> South San Gabriel, CA
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