Going green: 7 ways the growing marijuana industry may affect design professionals

Conflicting laws between the federal and state governments create many unknowns for all aspects of the expanding marijuana industry—including construction and design. Although to date, there’s only one documented insurance claim in the Schinnerer program related to the design of a marijuana facility—that’s yet to be resolved—design and construction experts are assessing how the industry... Continue Reading →

Thinking about hiring a drone operator?

Design professionals frequently use drones (unmanned aerial systems) to help provide professional services. A recent article by Mark A. Dombroff, “Lessons in Liability: Drones 101,” reminds us to consider the regulatory and risk management issues that can arise from your relationship with a third-party drone provider. First, consider that accidents, while rare, do occur. Drones... Continue Reading →

Advantage of early retention of expert witnesses

Coming up at Schinnerer’s Annual Meeting of Invited Attorneys, May 26-27, 2016, will be a two-part presentation regarding the 2008 collapse of the canopy walkway at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. The project was still under construction when one construction worker was killed and 18 others were injured during the pouring of concrete on the elevated... Continue Reading →

Negligent misrepresentation can lead to actionable claims from contractors

Recently, a decision by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania expands a contractor’s ability to plead negligent misrepresentation claims directly against a design professional to evade application of the economic loss rule. This ruling increases the risk of claims against design professionals performing services in Pennsylvania. Courts in many states continue to erode the doctrine that... Continue Reading →

Do you want less risk? Become a physician.

The medical profession has always complained about being sued and paying for insurance. That complaint has fueled tort reform efforts and is often blamed for soaring health care costs. But compared to design professionals, medical doctors face less risk of negligence claims, and the risk they do face is more manageable. A recent study has... Continue Reading →

Damages awarded in Chinese drywall suit

For those people whose homes and lives were affected by Hurricane Katrina, the toll was heavy. Unfortunately, some of those people were sideswiped again when faulty drywall manufactured in China was installed in rebuilt homes in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Virginia, Alabama, and Texas. Chemicals in the drywall produced a strong odor in the homes and... Continue Reading →

Liability for the Actions of Others

Sometimes clients ask design professionals to engage another entity, often to facilitate the client’s procurement process so that the client does not have to set up a new contract with a new vendor. The risk for the design professional is that they have vicarious liability for the conduct of the subconsultant, which is, in this... Continue Reading →

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