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Re: Now I am in a REAL jamb!!

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You may want to consult with your state board of professional engineers, or
NSPE also.  A letter from one of those organizations showing support for
what you have done might be enough to discourage the Client from wasting his
money trying to sue.

Kenneth S. Peoples, P. E.
Lehigh Valley Technical Associates
1584 Weaversville Road
Northampton, PA 18067-9039
Phone: (610) 262-6345
Fax: (610) 262-8188
e-mail: kpeoples(--nospam--at)lvta.net

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lynn" <lhoward(--nospam--at)silcom.com>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2002 5:29 PM
Subject: Now I am in a REAL jamb!!


> I posted a letter the other day that some of you
> responded to me both on the list and privately.  I
> really appreciated the input I received and decided to
> contact the Owner, Building Department and Architect
> about potential problems I had found with the building.
>
> Now my client has threatened to sue me if he suffers
> any losses due to our reporting these issues to the
> building department.  He say we were hired as a
> consultant, and as such we had no right to inform
> anyone else of our findings, unless there was an
> eminent danger to the life or safety of the occupants.
> Since the building is only now under construction, they
> claim there was no such threat.
>
> Does anyone have any comments on this?  Is this true?
> Do we only have the right to report errors we find to
> the building official if they are of an immediate life
> safety type.  If our client suffers losses because I
> reported this, am I to be held liable?
>
> Below is the text of my original text for those of you
> that do not remember my issue.
>
> Lynn
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> I need help on an issue I know has been addressed
> before, but to be honest I did not pay much attention
> to it because it did not directly effect me at the
> time.
>
> There is a new three story office building being
> constructed, it totals about 50,000 square feet.  The
> first floor, first floor walls, and second floor slab
> is all concrete and concrete block.  The second floor
> concrete slab is about to be placed.  The upper floors
> are wood and steel.
>
> Our office did not do the design for the building, but
> we have been asked by a tenant that is going to occupy
> some of the building to provide structural design for
> their T.I. work.  They have some heavy equipment going
> in, so there is some significant structural work that
> will have to be done in order to accommodate this
> equipment.
>
> The Architect of the building provided us with a
> complete set of plans and structural calculations so we
> could do our work.  Once we got into the plans and
> calculations, it became obvious to us that the Engineer
> of Record for this building did not provide a design
> that conforms to Code.  Many of the Code violations are
> in the area of seismic design.  But some are simply of
> a gravity load type error also.  We did not do a
> detailed review of the plans and specifications, but we
> saw enough to know that we want nothing to do with this
> project.  We have told the tenant that we are not going
> to provide the structural design they have requested,
> and we have told the tenant exactly why.
>
> My question is if we bow out of this project, am I done
> with my professional responsibilities under my capacity
> as a licensed structural engineer in the State of
> California?  I would like to just walk away from this
> whole thing and not get involved any further.  But I
> also want to make sure  I am not walking away from and
> responsibilities that I may have as a licensed
> engineer.
>
> Am I obligated to tell the building owner that I have
> doubts (but not proof) about the adequacy of the
> structural design?  Am I obligated to tell the Building
> department that I have doubts (but not proof) about the
> structural design?
>
> Any thoughts on this issue would be appreciated.
>
> Lynn
>
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