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What are common reasons design professionals face lawsuits?

Starting a design project in the Bay Area generally starts with a client wanting a building built and a discussion about the specifics of the building. There are many aspects of a building that will dictate how it is built. They need a design that will ensure the building is strong enough to withstand potential earthquakes and also must have the appropriate foundation for the clay that is found throughout the area.

After all of the discussions are over and the design for the building is complete, design professionals will need to ensure the design is feasible and safe. Finally the building will be built by various contractors. These can be massive projects that involve many different companies and people who all have different jobs to ensure the building is built correctly. There are many problems that can arise during these projects and sometimes it leads to various lawsuits being filed to correct the problems.

Design problems that lead to lawsuits

The types of lawsuits that can arise depend on what the problem is and who is responsible for it. There are many reasons that the architects or engineers are sued, but there are certain circumstances that commonly lead to lawsuits against them.

  • Mistakes or omissions – this could be that the client claims a calculation was wrong or that a part of the design was omitted from the final project.
  • Negligence – this could be because the client feels that the architect or engineer did not exercise the proper standard of care or they claim that the contract was breached because of deadlines are missed, specifications not being met or damage to the property or people due to design flaws.
  • Overextension – taking on too many clients can lead to lawsuits because the client feels that their needs and expectations are not being met due to the architect or engineer not having the proper time to devote to their project.

Each design project in the Bay Area is unique and presents unique challenges to architects and engineers. They play a vital role in ensuring the project is done correctly and when things go wrong, they are often blamed for the problem whether it was their fault or not. Lawsuits may be inevitable from time to time though. It is important that design professionals have good defenses to these lawsuits as they can be very costly if not handled correctly. Experienced attorneys understand how to navigate through these lawsuits and may be a very useful resource.