The Long Arm of Liability

by James F. Forster, Attorney; Postner and Rubin,
Paul R. Schreyer, Attorney; Postner and Rubin,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1989, Vol. 59, Issue 9, Pg. 80-81

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: The corporate engineer, defined as an engineer who is employed by a corporation rather than a design firm, can also be exposed to personal liability for errors and omissions that cause injury and damage. Many plaintiffs choose to file suits against the corporation alone, but under law, they are also free to seek damages from the individual engineer. The key tenet of law is that the standard of care required of the corporate engineer is the same applied to all professionals: He must exercise a degree of care that an engineer of ordinary skill and prudence would exercise under similar circumstances. Not only may the negligent engineer be liable to the injured party, but his own corporation, if forced to pay out damages, may compel the engineer to reimburse it, as well. To protect himself, the corporate engineer should investigate different insurance packages and have his work peer reviewed.

Subject Headings: Insurance | Liability | Engineers | Legal factors | Corporations |

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