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|June 7, 2017 ||
Vol. 48 No. 3
The Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA) has published new editions of two important legal references, both prepared for design professionals without use of "legalese"; both available free of charge. Limitation-of-Liability Case Index and Economic-Loss-Doctrine Case Index were prepared for GBA's Legal Affairs Committee by Seattle (WA) law firm Skellenger Bender, P.S.
GBA introduced the 400-year-old limitation-of-liability (LOL) concept to the design and environmental professions in 1969. By applying the concept, now upheld in most states, a client agrees to limit a design professional’s liability to a given amount, most commonly $50,000 or the fee, whichever is higher. The Index describes each case in terms of its background and the points or holdings involved, and — to support additional research — identifies the case by name, jurisdiction, and citation. The cases span the period 1956 to 2016.
The economic loss doctrine (ELD), another important protection for design professionals, bars use of tort claims (e.g., professional-negligence and negligent-misrepresentation claims) to recover purely economic losses, such as those stemming from property damage or construction delays. In states that uphold the ELD in full, claimants against design professionals may recover purely economic damages only via breach-of-contract suits, limiting claimants to design professionals' clients. In other states, third parties, like constructors, can sue design professionals directly. Economic-Loss-Doctrine Case Index provides a state-by-state status report on the economic-loss doctrine, describing the cases involved and providing the additional information required for more research.
Download Limitation-of-Liability Case Index
Download Economic-Loss-Doctrine Case Index
Most major dictionaries and style guides decree that one should write silent generation, baby-boom generation, and millennial generation as just shown; all lower case, unless there’s another reason to capitalize them, as in a title. Those same major dictionaries and style guides also state that Generation X and Generation Xers should be capitalized. As far as Dr. English is concerned, that guidance is completely screwy, overly complicates an already complex language, and should be ignored. If we can have the Iron Age and Progressive Era, both of which are proper names (not proper nouns) that merit initial caps; if Generation X is treated as a proper name, the Dr. English playbook says it's Silent Generation (Veterans), Baby-Boom Generation (Baby Boomers), and Millennial Generation (Millennials). People who write dictionaries and style guides need to get out more.
Dr. English is a uniquely GBA resource, regularly supporting an improved use of language to improve communication, manage risk, and optimize business performance.
Read More: For more Dr. English Topics
William H. Gordon Associates, Inc. was retained by the Heritage Fellowship to design plans for an underground rain-tank system to be installed beneath the parking lot of a new church sanctuary. As the constructor began work, it used a request for information (RFI) to ask about the tank's suitability for the location, given its high water table, as well as installation and performance issues. In response, Gordon referred to information in the manufacturer's drawings to indicate that the high water table would not affect the tank’s performance. Then, a few months after installation was complete, the tank collapsed. In the litigation that ensued, the trial court found Gordon was negligent because its professionals breached their standard of care by failing to appropriately evaluate the tank's suitability, failing to verify a manufacturer's specifications before incorporating them into their own plan, and failing to respond to appropriate RFIs during construction.
Testing Water...and Ethics depicts a realistic ethical problem in engineering within an organizational setting. Porter/Rodman Engineering Co. has been retained to drill water test wells on a property that will be sold for development. All test results are under state limits, but the two additional wells show a significantly higher level of contamination. The resolution of the problem is not obvious and must be reached through analysis, judgment, and negotiation.
Near the end of the story viewers are invited to discuss four alternative solutions Porter/Rodman is considering. An epilogue shows an acceptable solution and how it was reached.
Testing Water...and Ethics was created to:
This 28 minute production instantly engages technical professionals of all ages, prompting lively discussion of issues that involve telling the truth, protecting the public, employee loyalty, and professionalism.
- foster awareness of ethical problems in engineering,
- increase sensitivity to the complexity and ambiguity of ethical problems in engineering, and
- model the successful handling of ethical problems in engineering.
"It's good for the price." You've heard that, no doubt, and usually it means it's a so-so bottle that sells for not much. Avoid those. What you want is great wine no matter what the price, as long as it's cheap. And that is easy to find, especially when you look in Spain and, in France, the southern Rhone Valley and Languedoc. The three wines being used as examples, below, are described in terms taken from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
The 2015 Triton Tinta De Toro is a gorgeous example of Toro, known for its full-throttle, intense wines. Parker rated this one 94 points ("outstanding wine of exceptional complexity") and said it would last through 2026; almost identical to the quality and longevity assessment for the 2014 Quivet Cellars that sells for $125 per bottle. Triton sells for $15.
The 2015 AOP Languedoc les Darons is made from 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 5% Carignan. This medium- to full-bodied, plump, rounded, downright sexy 2015 has lots of blueberry, violets, and jammy black-cherry aromas and flavors; it has terrific purity of fruit, good acidity, and an overriding sense of elegance. Rated 93 points (better than the 2014 Favia's 92+), this beauty can be had for less than $10. (Favia is $175.)
Also from the Languedoc, the 2014 Saint-Roch Kerbuccio Maury Sec is rated 93 points.
A blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre, and 20% Carignan, it sports an inky color to go with lots of upfront black raspberry, cassis, licorice, wild herbs, and violet-like aromas and flavors. This full-bodied, sexy, supple, and yet-still fresh and lively 2014 will drink nicely on release and have 4-5 years of evolution. The price? $15.60.
Mark your calendar for these outstanding GBA get-togethers, and be on the lookout for announcements about others being finalized.
Future GBA Conferences
October 19-21, 2017
GBA Fall Conference
JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort
January 26-28, 2018
GBA Winter Leadership Conference
April 5-7, 2018
GBA Spring (Annual) Conference
Westin Chicago River North Hotel
Future Events Supported by GBA
AEG 2017 Annual Meeting — September 10-16, 2017 in Colorado Springs, CO
Future Training for GBA Member-Firms
Leading Change to Improve Profitability — June 21, 2017
Creating a Profitable Culture Through Accountable Learning — September 13, 2017
Developing Superstar Project Managers — December 13, 2017
GOLD: Geoprofessional Operations Leadership Development
Space is limited — reserve spots now for October 2017 Class
GOLD Registration Here
GBA EVENTS CALENDAR
U.S. construction spending recorded its biggest drop in a year in April as investment in both private and public projects fell, but a sharp upward revision to the prior month's data pointed to underlying strength. The Commerce Department said on construction spending tumbled 1.4 percent. Spending in March was revised to show it jumping 1.1 percent to a record $1.24 trillion.
Scientists have known that microbes living in the ground can play a major role in producing atmospheric carbon that can accelerate climate change, but now researchers from The University of Texas at Austin have discovered that soil microbes from historically wetter sites are more sensitive to moisture and emit significantly more carbon than microbes from historically drier regions.
A new dredging machine manages both to remove and clean river sediment, and it does so at a much lower cost than conventional dredging methods. Recently put to work on the Cuyahoga River in Ohio, the machine, known as a bed load interceptor, is part of a "wave of green technology" employed by the Port of Cleveland.
The Mercury News
A miniature Golden Gate Bridge will be built to test high winds the span sometimes faces, part of the work to protect the 110,000 people who use the span daily as seismic upgrade work continues. Bridge officials are working to seismically strengthen the center portion of the span.
Jaw-dropping before-and-after satellite images capture the magnitude of a massive landslide along California's Big Sur coastline. The landslide, which sent more than 1 million tons of rocks and dirt across California's scenic coastal Highway 1, occurred on the night of May 20. Before the huge rockfall, a smaller one occurred earlier in the spring.
The series of small and large tectonic plates that lie beneath the Earth's surface have been responsible for shaping the world's landmass into how it appears today. Each of the plates only shifts a few centimeters per year but can have a huge impact when they do. Using a 3-D mapping technique to visualize these known plates, a team of researchers believes it has found a further, hidden layer of tectonic plates sunk into the mantle.
People who work on building infrastructure understand the risks of climate change. As the Earth warms, new stresses are applied to our buildings, bridges, roads, houses, and other structures. Some of the obvious threats to infrastructure are from extreme weather including heat waves, storms and intense rainfalls. There are some other less obvious threats, and many of the threats vary by location.
The oil-rich Permian Basin is emerging as a major source of new natural gas, a development that could deepen an existing glut and pressure gas prices for years. The West Texas region has become the most prolific spot for horizontal oil drilling and fracking. The new oil wells also produce natural gas, making it a nearly free byproduct that energy companies can then sell on top of the more-sought-after crude.
| || 2017-2018 GBA BOARD OF DIRECTORS|
Charles L. Head, P.E., P.G.
(Sanborn, Head & Associates, Inc. / Concord, NH)
Woodward L. Vogt, P.E., D.GE, F.ACI, F.ASCE, F.ASTM
(Paradigm Consultants, Inc. / Houston, TX)
Kimberly F. Morrison, P.E., R.G.
(Morrison Geotechnical Solutions, Inc. / Denver, CO)
Saiid Behboodi, P.E., G.E.
(PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc. / Portland, OR)
Thomas W. Blackburn, P.E., G.E., F.ASCE
(Blackburn Consulting / Auburn, CA)
Arthur G. Hoffmann, P.E., D.GE
(Gannett Fleming, Inc. / Harrisburg, PA)
Kenneth R. Johnston
(GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. / Norwood, MA)
Leo J. Titus, Jr. P.E.
(ECS, Ltd. / Chantilly, VA)
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063