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Common design professional malpractice claims

Construction projects may be large and complex. Building owners and other impacted parties can sue anyone involved in the design and construction of the structure, including design professionals, if something goes or if they are dissatisfied. Design professional litigation generally involve any of the following reasons.

Mistake claims

Miscalculations underlie many professional liability lawsuits. Most of these negligence claims against engineers include errors or omissions. If an error or oversight costs someone money, a lawsuit will likely follow.

Errors are defined as wrong design. Omissions means that the engineer’s designed lacked something.

In construction involving lots of calculations, it is important to doublecheck your math. Colleagues should review projects and your calculations.


Architects and engineers must meet a standard or duty of care. This is the reasonable care expected by professional architects or engineers.

At minimum, this standard means preventing property damage or physical harm known as personal injury. It also involves proper project oversight, meeting its exact specifications and ongoing inspection and documentation.

Falling to meet this standard of care may be grounds for an architect or engineer negligence lawsuit which may also be identified as an architect or engineering malpractice lawsuit. A professional negligence lawsuit may also include breach of contract or missed deadlines or cost overruns.

Budget overruns, delays and financial losses typically lead to these lawsuits. So, it is important that the professional designer and client understand the project’s timeline, costs, and scope at the beginning to avoid these actions.

A detailed contract is essential. Ongoing client contact is important to keep their expectations realistic and keep them aware of any problems or delays and how they are being remedied.

Address any client complaints promptly and honestly. Also, document these communications, the issues raised and how they were resolved.

Too much work

Clients and projects should be manageable, so you timely fulfill your commitments and contracts. Time and attention is needed to properly draft contracts, communicate with clients and utilize a review process.

A support network should review work and prevent errors and omissions. An independent consultant may help perform this role.

Independent contractors must be properly scrutinized or insured. They should have professional liability and general liability insurance.

An attorney can help design professionals prepare legal documents that meet their needs and take other steps to avoid liability. Legal representation may also help protect them in a lawsuit.