Understanding Potential Legal Liabilities of Water Resource Professionals and How to Avoid Them

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by Charles F. Seemann, Jr., Partner; Deutsch, Kerrigan & Stiles, New Orleans, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Planning and Management and Urban Water Resources

Abstract: The salvation of the country's water resources is one of the most important problems facing it today. Focused, as they are, on a problem of such overwhelming significance, it is easy for water resource professionals (WRPs) to forget that there is a practical side to their endeavors, fraught with peril for professionals, which has a direct impact on their ability to continue to do the work of the angels. It is a sad fact that everyone in America is more litigious now than thirty years ago. Most are generally aware that, when a personal injury occurs, anybody remotely connected with it, including WRPs, faces the prospect of being sued. But design professionals are less aware that this trend of litigiousness is nowhere worse than in the construction industry. There are probably at least as many professional liability pitfalls in the contracting process itself as there are from third parties after the project is completed. This paper identifies and explains the sources of liability, and offers some practical ideas about how to avoid it.

Subject Headings: Water resources | Liability | Accidents | Architect/Engineers | Construction industry | Contracts |

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