Architect’s liability of their consultants

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    Joseph Imbriano

    From my information and knowledge:

    There are two agreements. One is the Architect/Owner Agreement and one is the Architect/Consultant Agreement.

    There is no Consultant/Owner Agreement.

    The architect and owner are parties of the Prime Contract.

    The architect hires the structural, mechanical and electrical consultants.

    In any litigation, the owner would hold the architect responsible even if the fault exists with the consultant.

    The architect would be responsible/liable to the owner and the consultant would be responsible/liable to the architect.

     

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    Joseph Imbriano

    Section 8.3 C401 refers solely to arbitration.

    Section 8.1.2  C401 releases the architect due to consultant's negligence and section 8.1.3 C401 releases the consultant due to the architect's negligence.

    Section 8.1.4 refers to the binding dispute resolution set forth in the Prime Agreement. It mentions architect and consultant are both entitled to relief from the owner if the owner is at fault, but it also states that the architect presents the litigation or arbitration and incurs all costs to do so.

    Looks like the architect is at the helm.

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    Joseph Imbriano

    Case Scenario:

    In a case where something goes wrong there has to be some negligence. Who does the negligence rest with? If a structure fails due to improper structural design by the structural engineering consultant, wrong size bolts and balcony falls down, that consultant would be held liable due to his or her negligence. The architect would be released due to this consultant's negligence Section 8.1.2 C401.

    I would think negligence would have to be researched and proven in litigation or arbitration.

    In the meantime, I believe the architect would be held liable to the owner for the negligent structural engineering consultant.

    During the litigation or arbitration with all parties present, and the truth revealed, the structural engineering consultant would ultimately be held responsible due to negligence - releasing the architect.

    Vise Versa Scenario:

    On the other hand, if the architect is negligent for something, and not the consultant, the architect would ultimately be held responsible due to negligence - releasing the consultant Section  8.1.3  C401

     

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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    This topic has been discussed. See link:

    https://are5community.ncarb.org/hc/en-us/community/posts/360037605233-Traditional-Design-Bid-Build-RFI-Flow-Chart?page=1#community_comment_360009865574

    Gang Chen, Author, Architect, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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