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RE: Ethical Responsibility?

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Steve,
I'm not disagreeing, but there is a side to the issues we have not
discussed. This what I hope to provide once I obtain the information
from Arnold. Until then, I would try to avoid being placed into a tough
call such as this.
Dennis

> -----Original Message-----
> From: V.GORDIN [mailto:scgordin(--nospam--at)hotmail.com] 
> Sent: Wednesday, July 04, 2001 11:56 AM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: Re: Ethical Responsibility?
> 
> 
> Dennis,
> 
> Let's assume the worst case scenario - the engineer still 
> does what is right.  What will happen next?  Say, along 
> Roger's lines, the opposing party subpoenas the engineer's 
> correspondence.  Then, he even may  not have to testify.
> 
> Seriously, what would happen to a lawyer suppressing 
> information about an outbreak of the bubonic plague even on a 
> attorney-client-privilege basis?
> 
> Having been through the "need to inform" situation several 
> times, I think that in public-danger cases we have no choice 
> but to make a WRITTEN statement to the authorities.  Well, if 
> they would not do anything (which too often is the case, in 
> my experience) - just to stay away from the source of danger 
> (e.g., take another highway).
> 
> Steve
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Structuralist <dennis.wish(--nospam--at)gte.net>
> To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, July 04, 2001 11:25
> Subject: RE: Ethical Responsibility?
> 
> 
> > Roger,
> > I never said I agreed with this law (and it may be just 
> California), 
> > but it is as you described and although I have not been involved in 
> > testing the waters, Arnold Bookbinder had. The sad fact was 
> that the 
> > law protected the lawyer and the information collected for 
> him. Public 
> > Safety came second.
> >
> > Give me some time to post the issues properly - I will call Arnold 
> > Bookbinder to obtain those documents that I have not saved and will 
> > post them so that everyone is aware of the "facts" rather 
> than relying 
> > upon my memory.
> >
> > It is incredible that such a law exists, but I believe it is 
> > considered almost like the information you provide clergy. The 
> > information is considered sacred between the attorney and 
> his client - 
> > the engineer is working for the attorney and only the attorney can 
> > release the information or allow the engineer to release it.
> >
> > Again, let me assemble the facts and I will post them.
> >
> > Thanks
> > Dennis
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Roger Turk [mailto:73527.1356(--nospam--at)compuserve.com]
> > > Sent: Wednesday, July 04, 2001 9:23 AM
> > > To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> > > Subject: RE: Ethical Responsibility?
> > >
> > >
> > > Dennis,
> > >
> > > This is a public safety matter!  What you have been told 
> is like an 
> > > attorney telling a doctor not to report an outbreak of the bubonic
> > > plague, or an
> > > attorney telling a water supply company not to report the
> > > contamination of
> > > of  the drinking water source.
> > >
> > > In a situation like this, I would tell the attorney to 
> get a court 
> > > order prohibiting me from reporting this situation to the proper
> > > authorities.
> > > Getting the court order would put it in the public record,
> > > exactly the
> > > opposite of what the attorney wants.
> > >
> > > If California law is similar to Arizona law, you are required to 
> > > report unsafe conditions to the appropriate authorities, 
> and if you
> > > don't, you are
> > > subject to loss of your license.
> > >
> > > A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
> > > Tucson, Arizona
> > >
> > > Dennis Wish wrote:
> > >
> > > . > On a similar situation, I was called out by an owner and his 
> > > insurance . > company to inspect structural damage in in Condo 
> > > complex due to . > extensive termite damage. I wrote up 
> my initial 
> > > investigation and . > referenced the Pest Inspection services to 
> > > conclude that further . > investigation was necessary as 
> the extent 
> > > of potentially serious . > structual damage was visible 
> throughout 
> > > the unit I inspected and had . > been reported by others to be 
> > > evident in other units throughout the . > complex.
> > >
> > > . > The HOA attorney stopped all work and squelched the report 
> > > (which was . > sent to the owner, his insurance company and the 
> > > contractor he hired to . > do the repairs). So far 
> nothing has been 
> > > done and there is a serious . > condition but we have 
> been prevented 
> > > from intervening by the HOA and . > their attorney. I suppose I 
> > > could submit my preliminary report to the . > building 
> official but 
> > > I have been warned against doing so.
> > >
> > > . > So what is the next move - I feel my hands are tied as all of 
> > > the . > appropriate people including the Home Owners Association 
> > > (HOA) has been . > notified.
> > >
> > > . > Dennis
> > >
> > > > -----Original Message-----
> > > > From: Nels Roselund, SE [mailto:njineer(--nospam--at)att.net]
> > > > Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2001 4:57 PM
> > > > To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> > > > Subject: Re: Ethical Responsibility?
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > What is the liability exposure posed by a single written 
> > > > notification as Bill offered in his proposal?  It seems 
> adequate 
> > > > to me.
> > > >
> > > > Bill's case is similar to the case of broken roof 
> trusses that I 
> > > > observed and discussed with the owner; I showed him the broken 
> > > > trusses and previous ineffective repairs, explained the 
> him how a 
> > > > failure could take place, and why it is a hazardous condition.  
> > > > The roof supported by the trusses is over a meeting 
> room.  I told 
> > > > him that the room should not be used again until the 
> roof trusses 
> > > > are repaired.  I then wrote a proposal for my services 
> to design 
> > > > the repairs, and put my explanations and recommendations in 
> > > > writing.
> > > >
> > > > I have not visited the building since.  I have no way 
> of knowing 
> > > > whether or not the room is being used -- that, of 
> course, is out 
> > > > of my control and knowledge [just as, I assume, the use 
> or non-use 
> > > > of the bridges is out of Bill's control and/or 
> knowledge].  If the 
> > > > room is not being used, that is appropriate temporary 
> mitigation.  
> > > > I figure that the owner is a prudent person who has been 
> > > > adequately advised of a hazard that is under his control, and 
> > > > that, as owner of the building, he can be expected to take 
> > > > appropriate measures. If he chooses to put the room out of use 
> > > > until the funds are available for the needed repairs, that is a 
> > > > choice he has in his power to make.  If he chooses to 
> use the room 
> > > > despite the warning I have given, he is, in my opinion, 
> not being 
> > > > wise, but his choice is out of my control or knowledge. 
>  How am I
> > > > put in jeopardy by leaving the matter in his hands?
> > > >
> > > > I recently received a phone call from the owner a few 
> months after 
> > > > my proposal; he told me that he will authorize my 
> services but is 
> > > > not ready to do that yet.
> > > >
> > > > Nels Roselund
> > >
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