Source: https://www.businessinsurance.com/, December 17, 2019
By: Judy Greenwald
Massachusetts’ top court affirmed summary judgment Monday in favor of a CNA Financial Corp. unit in a professional liability case in which its policyholder had refused to agree to a settlement.
The unanimous ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts also held in Douglas M. Rawan and another vs. Continental Casualty Co. that consent-to-settle clauses in professional liability policies do not violate state statute. Read more.…
Source: November 21, 2019
By: Charles E. Fombrun and Freddy X. Munoz
Design professionals such as architects and engineers are exposed to significant risk and potential liability for errors and omissions in their designs and other work on construction projects. In addition to potential up-front design errors, many professionals participate in project administration, which includes the review and approval of payment applications, inspecting and approving construction work as it progresses, and providing clarification and information through submittal approval and RFI responses, which also puts them at risk for post-completion claims. Read more.…
Source: https://www.newcivilengineer.com/, November 14, 2019
By: Sa,m Sholli
A catalogue of engineering errors during design and construction led to the fatal collapse of the Florida International University bridge, the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has ruled in its final report.
The report concludes that design calculation errors made by Figg Bridge Engineers were ultimately to blame for the collapse of the main span which killed five motorists and one construction worker in March 2018. Read more.…
Source: https://www.theadvertiser.com, October 24, 2019
By: Todd A. Price
In the wake of the partial collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel construction site on Oct 12, 11 lawsuits have been filed by site workers, nearby businesses, bystanders and the children of two of the men killed.
All but one of the lawsuits, filed in Orleans Parish Civil District Court, make unspecific allegations of negligence against the owners of the project, the general contractor Citadel Builders and numerous sub-contractors. Those suits read like placeholders for facts that will be established later as the litigation moves forward. Read more.…
Source: https://www.thesunchronicle.com, October 22, 2019
A Miami university bridge that collapsed and killed six people last year showed significant design errors and should have been more carefully monitored by the state government because of the project’s complexity, federal officials said Tuesday.
The National Transportation Safety Board members concluded that the design firm FIGG Bridge Engineers, Inc. underestimated the load of the bridge and overestimated its strength in a critical section that splintered, dropping a 174-foot-long (53-meter-long) span onto eight cars on March 15, 2018. Read more.…
Source: USA today Online, October 22, 2019
Posted on: https://www.advisen.com
A doomed design was the “probable cause” of the horrific collapse of a pedestrian bridge in Miami last year that killed six people and injured 10, the National Transportation Safety Board found Tuesday.
The 174-foot-bridge section, designed to connect Florida International University with the city of Sweetwater, was still under construction on March 15, 2018, when it crashed to the road below. Eight vehicles were crushed, seven of which were occupied. Read more.…
Source: https://www.enr.com, October 22,2 2019
by: Scott Judy and Tom Ichniowski
Multiple design errors by FIGG Bridge Engineers and its engineer-of-record were the primary probable cause of last year’s Florida International University pedestrian bridge collapse, the National Transportation Safety Board announced Oct. 22.
In a more than three-hour presentation of its findings, the three-member board pointed to FIGG’s “load and capacity calculation errors” and its “design of the main span truss member 11-12 nodal region and connection to the bridge deck” as key explanations of the collapse. [View abstract of NTSB findings, probable-cause determination and safety recommendations here.] Read more.…
Source: https://www.enr.com, July 31, 2019
A year and a half after the Florida International University pedestrian bridge collapsed, killing six and injuring at least eight, victims and their survivors have reached monetary settlements with all but one of the companies implicated in the disaster.
Among those signing on to the deal announced in MIami-Dade circuit court Monday are FIGG, the Tallahassee -based engineering firm that designed the 950-ton, 320-foot span, and Munilla Construction Management (MCM), the general contractor headquartered in Miami . In total, 23 subcontractors joined the deal, which requires them to pay into a fund set aside for those affected.
The lone holdout is Louis Berger , an engineering consulting firm hired to double-check FIGG’s design and calculations.
The terms of each settlement are confidential, but the funds agreed upon will be added on top of a $42 million deal hashed out by the victims and MCM’s insurers in April. While Monday’s announcement came in civil court, it will be formalized in federal bankruptcy court as part of MCM’s ongoing debt restructuring.
However, the nature of the bankruptcy proceeding means that all parties involved need Louis Berger on board before the money can be distributed.…
Source: https://www.jdsupra.com, July 19, 2019
The Court’s decision in New Riegel Local School District Board of Education, et al. v. The Buehrer Group Architecture & Engineering, Inc., et al.  interprets Ohio’s Statute of Repose,  which generally requires certain construction defect claims to be brought within 10 years of the date of substantial completion. At issue in the case was whether that statute applies only to tort claims (such as claims that the general contractor or architect negligently performed its work by failing to comply with the applicable standard of care), or also to breach of contract claims. In holding that the Statute of Repose applies to both types of claims, the Supreme Court reversed its own 1986 holding that the statute applied only to tort claims.
In the New Riegel case, the New Riegel Local School District filed a lawsuit against its architect, general contractor, roofing subcontractor, and a surety for damages arising out of condensation, moisture intrusion, and other deficiencies allegedly resulting from improper design and construction. The lawsuit was filed more than 10 years after substantial completion. At the time the lawsuit was filed, the statute of limitations for a breach of contract action was 15 years and the school district’s lawsuit was filed within that time period. (The statute of limitations for breach of contract claims has since been amended to 8 years.) But because the school district’s claims were for breach of contract, it argued that the Statute of Repose did not apply and that its claims were not time-barred.…
Source: https://www.miamiherald.com, June 11, 2019
By: Andres Viglucci and Douglas Hanks
In a damning new report, federal work-safety investigators conclude that engineers in charge of design and construction of the ill-fated Florida International University pedestrian bridge should have shut down Southwest Eighth Street because of growing cracks in the structure, but failed to recognize the span was in danger of imminent collapse due to design errors.
The 115-page report by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, obtained Tuesday by the Miami Herald, finds plenty of blame to spread around for the collapse of the bridge last year while under construction.
The report details a catalog of errors ranging from a “deficient” design by Tallahassee-based FIGG Bridge Engineers that led to structural failure, to inadequate oversight by two engineering consulting firms that were supposed to act as a backstop on design and construction, Louis Berger and Bolton Perez and Associates, and a fatal attempt by FIGG to close the cracks that triggered the collapse.…