A CM's Exposure to Liability

by Frank Muller, O'Brien-Kreitzberg & Associates, Inc, New York, NY, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Construction Management: A State-of-the-Art Update


Before identifying potential liability, it is first necessary to define the construction manager's (CM) status and duties. These are delineated in the contract requirements and scope of services. The standard of care to which a CM is held in the eyes of the law depends on whether he/she is acting in a professional or lay capacity. The majority of a CM's duties are professional in nature. A CM can act as an agent, independent contractor or both. Describing a construction manager as one or the other does not establish the legal standing. Legal responsibilities are established by the definition of his duties in the contract document and by the CM's actions. Litigation can be based upon either contract or tort action. The several areas of exposure to liability include design review, cost estimating responsibility, scheduling and coordination and resultant delay, supervision and/or inspection, construction support services, and safety. These are the general areas in which a construction manager can be involved in litigation.

Subject Headings: Liability | Construction management | Contracts and subcontracts | Managers | Professional practice | Legal affairs | Litigation | Terminology and definition

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