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Re: Code Commentary (was NDS-Nails)

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I would say that I am all right.  Note that I was VERY careful to say
"code enforceable value" not "legal value".  You are entirely correct in
that code commentarys and other documents that provide recommendations
provide excellent fire power in a law suit filed privately against an
engineer.  Concensus based documents that provide documents are going to
be VERY difficult dispute in court (although possible).  They, however,
have absolutely NO code enforceable value.  They are not a legal code
document, so if a code official says "you must follow this recommendation
that is listed in the commentary" then for all intents and purposes you
can laugh in his/her face (not that I am suggesting that as a good idea
since said officical can still make your life hell if he/she so chooses).
There is a BIG difference between a code enforceable provisions and a
solid recommendation that might bite you in the rear end in court if not


Ypsilanti, MI

On Tue, 7 Jan 2003, Michael L. Hemstad wrote:

> Scott Maxwell wrote (a few days ago):
> "If it is truly a commentary (i.e. not a mandatory document), then it
> could not be code enforceable requirements.  For example, everything in
> the ACI 318 commentary is all nice and potentially useful/helpful, but
> it has no code enforceable value at all.  In other words, the ACI 318
> commentary saying that you can or can not do something means nothing in
> the eyes of the code requirements."
> Scott, you're half right.
> If a structural engineer does something that a Commentary recommends
> against, and something goes wrong, the engineer is dead meat in court.
> The practical difference between legal mandate and fear-based inducement
> is not that great.  The Commentary to most codes matters a great deal.
> Mike Hemstad
> St. Paul, Minnesota

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