An HVAC subcontractor sued the prime general contractor for $2 million for delays, acceleration, and related impacts that it asserted were caused by the actions of the contractor.
There are two types of design professionals: those who have been stiffed by clients and those who will be. This pithy truism leads to another: obtaining payment for your work is your professional responsibility. Suing for unpaid fees is not equivalent to securing payment in the first place as the mire of litigation will assuredly squander the project’s original profitability
For decades, a/e specialist advisors have instructed design professionals to eliminate the word "supervise" from the owner/prime design consultant agreement, and to make it clear that safety on the jobsite is the sole responsibility of the general contractor. The idea being that these instruction prevent anyone from making the argument that architects and engineers somehow share a duty to keep construction workers free from harm. This approach has served us well over the years, but times have changed. Personal injury attorneys have become more aggressive and design professionals are generally unaware of the legal traps jobsite observation has created for them.
For design professionals, finding the right insurance broker can present a challenge. You need someone with ample experience handling the professional liability needs of architects and engineers, and who offers a wealth of value-added services. Only if your broker has a comprehensive understanding of what you and your firm are all about can he or she be of real use to you.
Continued from If You Build It, They Will Sue: Condominium Projects – Part I, an analysis of Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, et al. and its impact on future court decisions.