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Re: building codes

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"The flaw in this logic is fairly typical of people who only worry from 
quarter to quarter. When you have a policy of paying off phony claims, 
even at a discount, you end up facing a lot more phony claims... Someone finally recognized that the last thing plaintiff counsel wants is a trial unless the case is completely air-tight, which they never are."

Partly it is a classic individual versus aggregate action problem.  What is good for the individual at a specific time is not best for the community over a long period of time.  Partly is a question of the complex nature of the construction and design process.  There are endless arguments to be made that one person's mistake could have been mitigated or avoided if someone else had done their jobs differently, and maybe they should cut a check for that action, too.  As clear cut as it may seem to the person involved in the process, it can be hard to predict exactly how a court may view it.  So, the idea of a "phony" claim may be different to different people, and isn't always as clear cut as auto insurance fraud can become.  So, that has to be added into the cost benefit mix.  Sometimes a claim that is a stretch can still be a successful claim in the final analysis.  Also consider that if something has gone seriously wrong, someone will probably end up paying.  The attorney is going to be gathering evidence and hauling a lot of people into court regardless, so adding in one or two extra defendants may not be too expensive if the odds look even mediocre of collecting.  

Paul Crocker, PE, SE


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