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RE: Legal and liability - using my stamp

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Joe Venuti wrote: "I work for a corporation, size does not matter. The state
looks at corporations differently than sole ownership.  I am not allowed to
stamp anything because I am not an officer of the corp. That is corp.
policy, liability insurance company policy and not quite sure about
state...There is no possible way a medium or large firm could exist if the
person stamping the plans had to direct the daily task of assembling the
calc's and plans." 

I also work for a corporation, but my experience is different. I regularly
stamp structural drawings as the responsible professional engineer and I
daily direct structural work on projects. I am not an officer of the
corporation - my title is simply "senior structural engineer". I am assigned
projects to direct the structural work on, and I seal the projects I am
responsible for. This is the practice in the office I work in - but I
understand that in some other offices of the same corporation, the head of
the structural group seals most drawings produced in that office, even if
another engineer "daily" directs the engineering effort. 

I also sealed drawings and directed work as a staff engineer at another
large corporation that I previously worked for. 

I don't have professional liability insurance for myself, based on the "deep
pockets" principle. The corporation has money and lawyers and it is unlikley
my assets would be worth much related to normal project costs. The
corporation has the "deep pockets" to pay for any judgements. However, I was
once initially named as a defendant in a suit against an employer. The
corporate lawyers told me that the complaintant had used a "shotgun
approach" in their initial filing - listing all engineers who had sealed
drawings for the project, even though the suit did not relate to structural
aspects. As the suit progressed, individual engineer's names were dropped
from the suit. (It had me a little nervous for a while - one co-worker kept
referring to me as "co-defendant", but the corporate lawyers took care of

Regarding "principal engineers" where I work - a principal engineer is the
first level at which the engineer participates in incentive bonuses and I
would say is the first level one might be considered as an "officer" of the
corporation. Principal Engineers are designated by the Office of the

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