Claims against Geotechnical Engineers: Getting it Right in the Midst of Uncertainty

by Patrick C. Lucia, P.E., Ph.D., (M.ASCE), Adjunct Professor of Civil Engineering; University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, pat_lucia@comcast.net,
Lisa Yabusaki, G.E., Staff Engineer; GEI Consultants, Inc., Rancho Cordova, CA, lyabusaki@geiconsultants.com,
Jason T. DeJong, Ph.D., (A.M.ASCE), Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering; University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, jdejong@ucdavis.edu,
David L. J. Coduto, President, CEO: Terra Insurance Company, RRG, Corte Madre, CA, dcoduto@terrarrg.com,


Serial Information: Geo-Strata —Geo Institute of ASCE, 2017, Vol. 21, Issue 4, Pg. 54-59


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Geotechnical engineering is one of engineering's riskiest professions, prone to litigation due to the inherent uncertainty associated with characterizing the subsurface. Site investigations rarely provide a complete picture of the subsurface conditions at a project site, and require interpretation of the investigation and laboratory test results and the application of the engineer's judgment before the results can be used for design. When the subsurface conditions and/or soil engineering properties differ from those expected during design, delays and/or changes can occur during or after construction and result in a financial loss claim filed against the engineer.

Subject Headings: Site investigation | Subsurface investigation | Claims | Geohazards | Uncertainty principles | Engineering profession | Subsurface environment | Laboratory tests

 

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