standard of care

This tag is associated with 9 posts

Brad Pitt foundation embroiled in lawsuits

In 2007, two years after Hurricane Katrina, actor Brad Pitt founded the Make it Right foundation to rebuild safe and sustainable homes in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. Led by GRAFT architects, the organization convened 21 world-renowned architects to design climate-adapted, eco-friendly homes inspired by William McDonough’s Cradle to Cradle principles. Earlier this month, an … Continue reading

How climate change is changing the standard of care

This intriguing issue was recently addressed by attorneys Elena Mihaly, William Franczek, and Andrew P. Selman in an article published in the summer 2018 issue of the Journal of the American College of Construction Lawyers. Their article was also part of a larger study, Climate Adaptation and Liability: A Legal Primer and Workshop Summary Report. … Continue reading

Fit for the intended purpose language rife with liability

Under American law, design professionals are required to exercise reasonable skill and care in their designs, but that normal (and insurable) legal requirement can be modified by an expressed or implied fitness for purpose obligation. Unfortunately, this is an issue we continue to see in our contract reviews for policyholders. Beyond the Standard of Care … Continue reading

Climate change considerations for engineers

The World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) consists of national, international , and affiliated engineering societies around the world. The American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES) is the U.S. representative to the WFEO. The WFEO’s Standing Committee on Engineering and the Environment (CEE) has completed a new WFEO Model Code of Practice dealing with the … Continue reading

Responding as a professional to a natural disaster

During times of emergency, like the recent flooding in South Carolina, design professionals typically have been willing to volunteer their services to assist in protecting public health and safety and to provide immediate services to aid in recovery efforts. Such volunteer efforts, or any immediate response efforts involving a limited scope of services during the … Continue reading

Opinions of cost

An insured recently asked us for advice in response to his client’s request for an estimate of construction costs. I suggested that instead of providing a “cost estimate,” which may indicate a commitment that the project can be constructed for that “estimate,” it would be preferable to offer to provide an “opinion of probable costs.”  … 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

Does the standard of care change if you are selected because of a special expertise?

Even if you are the preeminent firm in the country in the design of sports stadiums, museums, airports, etc., it would be unwise to agree to provide services as defined in a recently reviewed contract: The Construction Documents and all other services provided by Architect under this Agreement shall be free from defects when measured … Continue reading

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

This past week I reviewed several contracts that all had one thing in common: each one required the design professional to “warrant” that it had “thoroughly familiarized itself with the local conditions under which the Services required under this Agreement are to be performed.” The first problem with this provision is the obligation to provide … Continue reading