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Re: Field welding

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Bill,

I don't disagree that lawsuits and lawyers can be a bit screwy and as a
result we pay for it.  I will say that unlike you I don't lump all the
blame on the lawyers...all lawyers that level stupid lawsuits have clients
that are looking for quick cash on things that may or may not have really
suffered harm on.  And like it or not, lawyers have ethical obligations to
their clients much like we have ethical obligations to our clients and the
public.  And, yes, lawyers could turn away such clients and be a little
more "pure" but then I would say that there would be a lot more lawyers
that would have trouble putting food on the table.  And I will point out
that what APPEARS to be a wasteful/frivolous lawsuit at first glance may
not be so in the end.

Beyond that, the thread in question was talking about engineers losing
their licenses not about them getting sued.  Thus, you seem to have
extrapolated the thread without telling anyone else until now.

But, yes, you can do everything right design wise and still get sued when
a construction error occurs.  Don't disagree at all.  I can only say that
if that is truly a problem for ya, then find a nice cave to live in and
get out of doing structural engineering work or just accept it and
"anticipate" it and plan for it.

Regards,

Scott
Adrian, MI


On Fri, 9 Sep 2005, Bill Polhemus wrote:

> Scott Maxwell wrote:
>
> >If reasonable steps are taken on the part of the engineer to ensure that
> >proper welding is occuring (i.e. random inspection of a certain number of
> >field welds either during welding or after welding with certain tests),
> >then why would an engineer lose their license for a contractor's error?
> >
> >
> I don't know that losing one's license is at issue, but I have seen an
> engineer (or rather, an engineer's insuror) ante up because of what was,
> to me, plainly construction error.
>
> Of course, the constructor paid as well.
>
> That's another thing one has got to understand: Lawyers don't give a
> flying **** who's "right." They care only about who they can make pay,
> and in so doing transfer a substantial portion of that payment to himself.
>
> I saw a "person" I can only describe as a "****ing Texas lawyer" pound
> his palm on the table demanding "justice" for his poor client (the
> owner), when I KNOW, and I know that HE knew, that no such "injustice"
> had ever occurred.
>
> When a plaintiff's attorney shouts "justice," it's just shorthand for
> "Show Me The Money!!!"
>
> And we have to adjust our thinking and our practice accordingly. It is
> irrelevant whether we think we're "satisfied" with our instructions ot
> the Contractor. Unfortunately we have to be able to influence the
> quality of the final product as well. When something goes wrong you WILL
> be sued, make no mistake.
>
> FWIW, I was unable to talk a lawyer whom I was advising out of suing an
> engineer who had been only peripherally involved with a project, and who
> I did NOT believe had acted in "bad faith" at all. "Doesn't matter,"
> said the lawyer. "I've got to sue him because if I don't, the other side
> will lay all the blame on him knowing that he's not there to defend
> himself and that it will make our case look weak because we didn't
> include him--lawyer's version of 'due diligence'. Besides, he's insured..."
>
> (And so the premiums continue to go up).
>
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