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Researchers introduce inexpensive earthquake-resistant construction

Engineers at Stanford University have created a new method of constructing earthquake-resistant homes. In a test of their prototype home, the house was undamaged after being submitted to a large shaking table that shook with the intensity of a 6.9 magnitude earthquake. The most significant factor in the construction is that the home is not … Continue reading

New AIA design-build contracts released

As design-build keeps increasing market share in the project delivery process, more often than not architects and engineering firms are relegated to subcontractor status. Often, the contracts used reduce the amount of services provided by professionals, target professionals for all of the professional liability exposure (even though design-builders should carry professional liability insurance), and create … Continue reading

Does a commitment to comply with building codes change the standard of care?

In most jurisdictions and with most contracts the common law professional standard of care is used to analyze the performance of services by design professionals even though those services are performed in a contractual contest. Most professional service agreements impose various duties and requirements on the professional. As long as express warranties, guarantees, or other … Continue reading

Luxury condos that can survive nuclear war constructed in Kansas

An interesting Wall Street Journal article highlights some luxury condominiums in Kansas that are able to survive a nuclear attack. The condos were constructed in a decommissioned missile silo under the ground. Depending on the size, the units sell for $1.5 to $3 million, and include access to indoor swimming pools, movie theaters, a spa, … Continue reading

A Schinnerer webinar explores current issues in employment practices liability

Professional firms, even small ones, are not immune to anti-discrimination and other employment practices claims. Jennfer Jackman, a defense attorney with the DC firm of Whiteford Taylor Preston, recently so stated in a Schinnerer practice issues webinar. She pointed out that in the hiring process, in managing a staff, and in discharging employees, firms are … Continue reading

Resource Review: Benchmarking and Claims Studies

Being the oldest professional liability insurance program certainly has its advantages. One of those advantages is access to a database of more than 50 years worth of claims data. This allows our program to provide meaningful benchmarking and claims information to insureds and brokers to aid them in choosing appropriate levels of coverage and deductibles … Continue reading

What will be your liability for drone use?

Drones are coming to construction. They are not legally in use yet, but the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has been moving forward on granting exemptions and there is a collective push from commercial entities to tap into the potential of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The hesitancy of the FAA to authorize drone use is … Continue reading