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RE: building codes

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Sad...but all too true!



David L. Fisher SE PE
Fisher + partners
372 West Ontario
Chicago 60610
 
312.573.1701
312.573.1726 fax
 
312.622.0409 mobile
 
www.fpse.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Crocker [mailto:pcrocker(--nospam--at)reidmidd.com] 
Sent: Monday, May 17, 2004 10:11 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: building codes

"Until and unless states allow SEORs "police power" for their own projects,
requiring construction observation by statute and allowing the SEOR to blow
the whistle if something is not satisfactory, this is going to continue to
be the case."

Many of the situations I have seen where a clearly innocent party ends up
paying boil down to legal costs and insurance.  The plaitiff's lawyer
estimates what the claim will cost to defend against, then offers to settle
for slightly less if they don't feel like they have a great case.  If the
deal looks good enough to the insurer, they may even offer to waive the
deductable if the engineer agrees to the deal.  It isn't about guilt or
innocence at that point, it's just a cost/benefit analysis on the insurer's
behalf.  Do they want to spend $50K to get to a judgement of innocence, with
some small chance of a very large judgement, or just pay $40K up front?  If
you are running an insurance carrier as a business, the decision may not be
hard.  In many cases, the insurance contract puts the insurer in a position
to demand that the engineer accept the settlement, or the insurer will not
cover any potential judgement in court above and beyond what they wanted to
settle for.  That clause in not uncommon.  

Paul Crocker, PE, SE


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