Architect is subject to potential liability for failure of design to comply with fire code requirements regardless of whether the generally accepted standard of care was satisfied. This is because it agreed to contract language stating it would comply with the Standard of Care AND would comply with code requirements. This created two separate duties – making the duty to comply with codes absolute and not dependent on meeting the standard of care.
The closely watched California Supreme Court case of Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore Owings and Merrill et. al. has been decided, and the opinion is bad news for California Architects. The Court held that architects owe a duty of care to future homeowners in the design of residential buildings where the architect is a principal architect on the project, meaning that the architect is not a subordinate to other design professionals