Curtain-wall Falls; Kills Pedestrian

A construction manager and architect, retained by a developer through a “single point of responsibility” contract, engineered, designed and constructed a 70-story office tower. Architectural drawings specified a curtain-wall system. Two years after completion, one  fell from the face of the office tower, killing a pedestrian. The victim’s estate sued all parties involved in the tower construction. An engineering expert for the estate testified that the anchoring system was inadequate to support the weight of each curtain-wall panel. The architect had inadequate limits of professional liability insurance to cover this claim. The construction manager faced significant design errors and omissions as well as economic damages from the developer due to vicarious liability imposed by the architect.

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