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Author: Matthew Harrison

THE IMPORTANCE OF A COMMON NARRATIVE

 

As a business attorney, I am typically involved in legal issues involving corporations and those who create and own them.    During my several years in practice, I have observed both successes and failures.   A question I have often though is “what is the formula that makes a group/business succeed where others have failed?”   Is there a secret ingredient that runs through individuals, groups, or businesses (large or small) that binds people to work together to achieve a successful end?

What makes some individuals, families, or groups of people effective, resilient, and happy?   Why are certain people or businesses able to overcome obstacles, challenges, and succeed when others have easily failed?  What are the proven counters to the forces that want to tear apart and how does one prevent entropy/apathy that often occurs? 

Researchers and business experts have been studying this question for over 25 years.   They have arrived at a few specific conclusions.  The research has universally arrived at the determination that the single most important element for a family, group, or business to counter the effects of the natural world may be the simplest action of all—the development of a narrative.

What is a narrative?   In basic terms, a narrative is a common history that a family/group shares.   The narrative describes who they are, where they came from, and what is important to them.   The narrative demonstrates what they are made of and highlights that one can navigate extremely difficult obstacles and survive (even succeed) because others before them have faced almost impossible obstacles and still could overcome.    Those with a common narrative are better able see beyond themselves and (because of their ability to do so) develop a core strength.

Researchers have demonstrated in multiple evaluations and interviews that people and groups who have a strong narrative fare better when challenges come because they have an “polar star” to guide them and an “anchor” when confronted by a serious problem or event.   A “polar star” is found in examples of a family or group’s shared history where individuals can see the successes of their predecessors and model their own lives by them.   An anchor is the ability, when difficult challenges arrive, which allows the individual or group to point to challenges that others have faced in the past as examples of how “this too shall pass.”   Therefore, these individuals and corporations are more positive and develop a resiliency to face problems head on.

Some of the early research in this area involved children and was later expanded to larger groups.   The observations made of the children demonstrated that the stronger the child‘s narrative and family history, that he or she had a stronger sense of control over their individual lives.    They develop a “strong inter-generational self” because they realize that they belonged to something larger than themselves.  As a result, they had higher self-esteem and believed that themselves and their family would be able to overcome the problems they faced.   The children became more resilient because they were part of something bigger than themselves.

When September 11th happened, the researchers returned to the children they had observed previously who lived in the area of the tragedy, who had witnessed the events, and many had family members affected by those events.   After this very traumatic incident, the researchers directly observed the ability of the children to cope was a direct result of those who had a narrative and those who did not.

The fundamental conclusion is this:  If you want to have a successful family, group, business environment, or corporation, there must be a clear telling and retelling of a narrative of both positive elements and the ability to bounce back from difficult ones.

How can concept apply in business?   When a group of individuals comes together for a common goal and purpose (such as working for a company), they are usually more effective in good times, adapt when changes occur and are resilient when negative.    A common goal is often described by utilizing a common narrative that everyone can understand and, in most circumstances, relate to.

The history of Harley-Davidson motorcycles is an excellent example of a corporate narrative.   The beginning of Harley-Davidson is a story of middle-America with William Harley and William Davidson developing and manufacturing their first motorcycles in a 10 x 15 wooden backyard shed.   It demonstrates the independent and inventive nature of the company, which most of its riders share.  It also helped in the development of a brand based on customer loyalty. 

The narrative is seen throughout the corporation.   The history is prevalent in their retail stores with displays concerning its founding, pictures of the shed, and classic motorcycles throughout the stores.  The black color, the logo, and font utilized in its early days continue be reflected throughout their products.   The look and style of their motorcycles also point to their past.   They are not just building and selling motorcycles to travel from point A to point B.    Instead they are building a brand that can be recognized and lore that is passed to future generations.

Through its various ownership changes, corporate restructuring, recessions, the Great Depression, and when times seemed bleak for the company, it often fell back on its narrative to keep in business.  In basic terms, the success of the company is based on the success of its narrative.

 I would suggest you take some time and think about your narrative.   What makes you and your business unique?   What can you point to that can become a foundation for success.   Developing a narrative will provide a north star for guidance in times of growth and success and an anchor for stability in times of difficulty.

© 2016 Matthew W. Harrison and Harrison Law, PLLC All Rights Reserved

This website and article have been prepared by Harrison Law, PLLC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or financial advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

Why Not? A Thanksgiving Business Story

 

From my experience representing companies and business owners, I often observe general themes that all successful businesses possess.    It does not matter the type of business, whether is started in a garage or with investors, or the actual business experience the owners hold.   Often a successful origin of a business begins with the question “why not?”   

Successful businesses are usually started as a solution to a specific problem.   Often when individuals see problems or issues that they determine  are insurmountable or unassailable, they give up, move on to something else, or decide to travel an apparently easier path.   Whether the problem is technical, scientific, or more general in nature, this mental barrier prevents progress.

The difference is that a successful businessperson sees a problem and reacts to it differently.   Instead of giving up, they ask “why not?”   “Why can’t the problem be solved?”   “There must be a way to overcome this problem.”   “What if we try this approach instead?”   “What if we think of the problem from a different perspective?”   Many successful businesses have been created out of attempts to answer these basic questions.

In fact, history is filled with examples of successful individuals and businesses with this “why not” outlook.    A quote by Thomas Edison highlights this attitude:

I have not failed 10,000 times.   I have not failed once.   I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work.   When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.

A successful person does not see a barrier.   Instead, they see a problem that can be solved—the solution has just not yet been discovered.   Instead of an obstacle, they see an opportunity.

I am reminded of one example of this approach around Thanksgiving.   It involves a children’s book and an idea based on “why not?”    When I was young, my favorite Thanksgiving book was Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin.   It is story about Thanksgiving dinner at grandma’s house, a handsome and charismatic stranger, and the uninvited and unsavory guest, Mr. Whiskers.   Grandma’s famous and secret cranberry bread recipe is in danger of being stolen, but is saved by an unlikely hero.    I still can picture the book being read to me in school as I made turkeys with the shape of my hand.   It always brings back fun childhood memories and was a favorite of my younger sisters and brother as well.

Years passed and my eldest child was born.   For his first Thanksgiving, I began my search to purchase a copy of this book.   Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that the book was out of print, the Devlins had passed away, and Cranberry Thanksgiving had been out of the market for several years.   In my search for the book, I found used copies of Cranberry Thanksgiving being sold for up to $150-$200 apiece.   These copies were being snatched up by parents, similar to myself, who wanted to share their favorite childhood books with their own children.

Where I saw a barrier to purchasing a cherished childhood book and memory, Jill Morgan saw a business opportunity.   She had a similar experience to mine when she attempted to locate her favorite children’s book to read to her own children.   Instead of moving on, she asked “why can’t these good children’s books be published and find new homes?”   With that question fresh in her mind she founded Purple House Press whose mission it is to locate and publish children’s books that have been out of print and lost to time.   With this purpose in mind, Purple House Press tracked down copyright holders to classic no longer published children’s books, usually by communicating with authors who had long-retired or the spouses and children of the deceased authors and illustrators.   After obtaining the appropriate rights, Purple House Press would republish and sell these books at a fraction of the cost for which the used copies were being sold on auction sites.  

The authors and illustrators (and/or their families) were happy that their books could find a new audience.  Parents were also happy that they could share their favorite books and memories with their own children.   The Purple House Press approach has been a success and attracted positive publicity from major publications and news organizations as lost children’s books are being rediscovered by a new generation of young readers.  As a result, Purple House Press has sold well-over 500,000 books and publishes several rediscovered books a year.  Where others saw a barrier or no solution, someone else saw an opportunity.   Success then followed.

One of the books republished a few years ago by Purple House Press was Cranberry Thanksgiving.   I eagerly purchased multiple copies and presented them to my siblings.   Now this beloved childhood story is being read by the next generation of my family members each Thanksgiving.

cranberrybooks2

This Thanksgiving I propose that you take a problem or issue that has been a barrier to your business.   Then, say to yourself “why not” and view the problem from a different perspective.    You will be surprised with the results. 

© 2016 Matthew W. Harrison and Harrison Law, PLLC All Rights Reserved

This website and article have been prepared by Harrison Law, PLLC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or financial advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do . . . Business Partnership Issues

 

When I first meet with a group of prospective partners who have an idea and want to create a business, one of the questions I ask that often receives the most unique reaction is “what would you like to have in place if this partnership does not work out.”    Often times, the prospective partners, who are still in the afterglow of their new idea and the thought of a business venture, don’t want to discuss if it does not work between them.    They also do not want to discuss what to do if a personality issue or other conflict impacts the business and their chance to be successful.   However, in reality, it is essential that this discussion occur, and key decisions are made before the business is created.

Why is Preparing for Future Disputes Important?

During this initial discussion, I tell these prospective partners that there are three general categories of circumstance that will cause stress and conflict within a business partnership.   These are:

  • Failure of the business

When the business lags or begins to fail, partners start to look to each other to place the blame.   Rarely does a business partner state “this is all my fault.”  Finger pointing begins in earnest between the individuals.

  • Success of the business

Money and success often bring out the extremes in people’s personalities.  Conflicts escalate when the dollar amount is higher.   Rarely does a business partner state “I give all the credit to my other partner.”  Pride begins to impact the business.

  • The business remains the same

Business, like nature in general, abhors the status quo.   Stagnancy is the precursor to problems with the business.  If you are not moving forward, you are actually moving backward.

After I discuss these three scenarios, which can impact any business, they realize that it does not matter the circumstances or good feelings of the moment, it is best to address the question now and have the proper preparations in place.

Strong Corporate Documents and Legal Framework

One of the keys to avoiding partnership issues and future disputes is to both define the business relationship between the partners, and the procedure that is in place when an issue occurs.   This is accomplished by the operating documents created at the initial corporate organization of the business.   These documents may include, a partnership agreement, an operating agreement, and specific corporate bylaws or policies enacted during the first corporate meetings.  

These operating documents provide the proper framework for the business, outlining authority and who is responsible for certain items.   They also will provide the framework to address issues that arise for the business and how disputes will be addressed.   When a business partnership has defined their expectations and individual responsibilities early, the odds of misunderstandings decrease because everyone knows their responsibility, everyone knows the procedure if there is a question, and everyone knows what they are entitled to if the business dissolves.

Even if there are no issues or disputes between the business partners, a strong corporate and legal framework will assist when unexpected contingencies occur.   For example, these documents will address what procedures are to be taken when there is a medical situation, disability, or death of a partner.   They can also provide the framework when an unexpected economic, nature disaster or other development occurs, which often requires decisive action in order for a business to survive.

Conclusion

Although it may seem counterintuitive to prepare for a partnership disputes before a business has begun, it is actually essential that this type of preparation occurs.   If fact, completing strong corporate documents and a legal framework to address these contingencies, increases the likelihood that these negative effects can be avoided.

© 2016 Matthew W. Harrison and Harrison Law, PLLC All Rights Reserved

This website and article have been prepared by Harrison Law, PLLC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or financial advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

CLAIMS AGAINST AN ARCHITECT

CLAIMS AGAINST AN ARCHITECT

WHEN THEY INVOLVE A BUILDING CODE VIOLATION AND OTHER CONTRACT MATTERS

One contentious area of Arizona law is what duty, if any, an architect or engineer has once a code violation occurs.  Claims against architects are generally based on negligence or negligent misrepresentation.  Although architects and engineers have contracts with their clients (either an owner or a general contractor) the performance of the architect or engineer is generally measured by whether or not the architect or engineer performed his or her services consistent with the ordinary skill and prudence of a licensed engineer or architect practicing in Arizona.[1]  Under this standard, the creation of plans and specifications that do not comply with applicable building codes is not in and of itself enough to impose liability on an architect or engineer.  In other words, failure to comply with the building code is not always considered a failure to meet the required standard of care.[2]  Since an architect merely warrants that plans are adequate and not perfect, it will always be necessary to obtain an expert opinion that an architect’s violation of the building code was a violation of the standard of care.[3]

However, the fact that a design professional met all applicable building codes is not in and of itself sufficient to establish he/she met the standard of care.  As such, an architect who established that he had met all applicable codes and standards may still be subject to a claim for negligence.  In addition, it is not a defense to a claim for negligence that a building inspector has approved a design. 

Contractors who are damaged by reliance on plans and specifications that violate building codes may, however, have claims against architects and engineers even if the contractor does not have a contract with the architect or engineer.  In Donnelly Const. Co. v. Oberg/Hunt/Gilleland, the Arizona Supreme Court held that a contractor who suffers foreseeable injury as a result of an architect’s failure to meet the appropriate standard of care in drafting plans has a claim against the architect even though the contractor does not have a contract with the architect.[4] 

In Donnelly, a general contractor relied on plans and specifications prepared by the owner’s architect while preparing a bid on a project.  After successfully winning the bid and beginning construction, the general contractor discovered significant errors in the project plans and specifications that made construction substantially more expensive than anticipated in the bid.  After completing the project, the general contractor brought a claim against the architect for the extra costs incurred.  In permitting the general contractor to proceed with its lawsuit, the Arizona Supreme Court stated:

Design professionals have a duty to use ordinary skill, care, and diligence in rendering their professional services.  When they are called upon to provide plans and specifications for a particular job, they must use their skill and care to provide plans and specifications which are sufficient and adequate.  This duty extends to those with whom the design professional is in privity and to those with whom he or she is not.[5] 

Finding that it was foreseeable to the architect that a general contractor would rely on its plans while bidding and could be injured if the plans were defective, the Arizona Supreme Court permitted the general contractor’s suit to move forward.[6]

Although there may be an avenue for recovery, design professionals do have options to limit their potential liability.  In Arizona, the Supreme Court has held that an architect or other design professional may properly limit its liability through contract.[7]  In 1800 Ocotillo, L.L.C. v. WLB Group Inc., the Supreme Court held that a clause in an architect-owner contract limiting damages to the amount of fees paid to the architect did not violate public policy and was enforceable.[8]  Often times, contracts entered into between an architect and an owner-developer limit their liability to a certain amount.[9]  These caps in potential liability have been upheld in Arizona.

Negligence Actions

Contractors, architects and even building inspectors may be sued in tort when a negligent action of the contractor leads to personal injury or property damage.[10]   “Negligent conduct is doing something that a reasonable person should realize involves an unreasonable risk of causing an invasion of an interest of another.”[11]  To establish a claim for negligence, a plaintiff is required to show the existence of a duty, violation of the duty, and foreseeable damages caused as a result of the violation.[12] 

Construction that violates building codes can give rise to negligence claims against contractors if the violation leads to a personal injury or damage to property other than the building itself.[13]  As discussed above, violation of a building code may be sufficient to establish the contractor’s duty of care and violation of that duty.[14]  This is referred to as negligence per se, and the doctrine applies when a person or entity violates a safety statute intended for the protection of third parties.[15]  Violation of a building code provision may be negligence per se.[16]  However, violation of the building code does not definitively establish that negligence per se occurred.  This finding depends on several factors with results determined on a case by case basis. 

This principle is described in the Ohio Court of Appeals case Moore v. McCarty’s Heritage, Inc.[17]   In Moore, the court examined the interplay between code violations and negligence when it opined:

A building code provision which prescribes a standard or obligation for a builder to follow in abstract or general terms, permitting alternative choices and use of discretion and setting no fixed and absolute standards of duty, cannot form a basis for a determination that a violation thereof by a builder is negligence per se. . .

[w]here a building code imposes upon a builder a specific duty for the protection or benefit of others and he neglects to perform that duty, he is liable to those for whose protection or benefit it was imposed for any damages which were proximately produced by such neglect.[18]

Therefore, if the code provides requirements and restrictions in abstract and general terms with no fixed duties outlined, the ability for a determination of negligence per se is minimized.   However, if the building code provides definitive and established requirements and a distinct and articulated duty is shown, the ability for negligence per se to be found increases significantly.  This process will involve a fact-intensive and case-by-case analysis of both the code and also the actions in question.

Even if a violation of a building code is held to be negligence per se, the violation leads to liability only if damages occurred and there is causation between the negligence and the damaged caused.  This principal is examined in the New York case Beecher v. Northern Men’s Sauna.[19]   In Beecher, a patron died from smoke inhalation during a fire at the business.  It was argued by plaintiff’s counsel that the architect was negligent because the design of certain exit doors at the building had violated code.  The court rejected plaintiff’s argument and held that even if the architect did violate the building code, there was no evidence provided by the plaintiff that the location and design of the exit doors contributed to the death of the patron.  Since there was no causation between the potential negligent door design in violation of the building code and the smoke inhalation of the patron, the architect could not be held liable for damages.[20]

[1] National Housing Industries, Inc. v. E. L. Jones Development Co., 118 Ariz. 374, 377, 576 P.2d 1374, 1377 (Ariz. App 1978).

[2] See, e.g., Garaman, Inc. v. Williams, AIA, 912 P.2d 1121, 1124 (Wyo. 1996) (architect’s failure to comply with code requirement does not in and of itself establish negligence).

[3] Id.

[4] 139 Ariz. 184, 677 P.2d 1092 (1984).  It should be noted that subsequent case law has limited portions of this opinion for other issues.  See i.e, Flagstaff Affordable Housing Ltd. v. Design Alliance, Inc., 221 Ariz. 433, 212 P.3d 125 (Ct. App. 2009).  However, the basic premise concerning potential lability of architect remains intact.

[5] Id. at 187, 677 P.2d at 1265 (citations omitted).

[6] Id. at 187-88, 677 P.2d at 1295-96.

[7] 1800 Ocotillo, L.L.C. v. WLB Group, Inc., 219 Ariz. 200, 196 P.3d 222 (2008).

[8] Id. at 204, 196 P.3d at 226 ¶¶ 17-21.

[9] It is prevalent that a contract will contain a limitation of any damages to the amount paid to the design professional, which can be substantially less than the actual damaged caused by the defective and negligent design of a project.

[10] Chirco v. Woodward Const. Co., 141 Ariz. 514, 516, 687 P.2d 1269, 1271 (1984).

[11] Wilson v. City of Tucson, 8 Ariz. App. 398, 402, 446 P.2d 504, 508 (1968).

[12] Id.

[13] Chirco, 141 Ariz. at 516, 687 P.2d at 1271.

[14] J.H. Welch & Son Contracting Co. v. Gardner, 96 Ariz. 95, 99, 392 P.2d 567, 570 (1964).

[15] Id.

[16] See, e.g., Pierce v. ALSC Architects, P.S., 890 P.2d 1254 (Mont. 1995) (holding that an architect violated the uniform building code when a door was left in a remodeled building which permitted an employee to gain access to a storage room and fall through a drop ceiling).

[17] 404 N.E.2d 167 (Ohio App. 1978).

[18] Id.at 172.

[19]707 N.Y.S.2d 465 (App. Div. 2000).

[20] Id. at 456-66.

© 2016 Matthew W. Harrison and Harrison Law, PLLC All Rights Reserved

This website and article have been prepared by Harrison Law, PLLC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or financial advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

DEFENSES FOR ALLEGATIONS OF CODE VIOLATIONS AND BREACH OF CONTRACT

 

A contractor may have several avenues to counter, or at least diminish, its potential liability against allegations of building code violations and breach of contract claims.   In order to build potential defenses for these allegations, a contractor will want to examine the underlying contract terms and specifications.   A builder, or owner, will also want to examine other individuals or entities with involvement in the project (such as the design and engineering professionals) for potential liability or as defenses to counter the allegations of unprofessional or defective construction.

The Allocation of Risk for Code Violations

One potential defense for a contractor is its reliance on the plans and specifications supplied by the owner.  When owners furnish plans to a contractor, the owner warrants that the plans and specifications are adequate to construct the project—including that the plans are in compliance with applicable building codes.[1]  However, this warranty only extends as far as the design specifications, which are defined as specifications that “precisely detail the manner in which the work is to be done.”[2]  In this situation, the contractor is still responsible for the performance of the work specified in the contract documents.[3]  Deciding whether a violation of building codes implicates the design provided and the design professional who created it or performance of the contractor can prove to be problematic.

This interplay can be seen in the Florida case opinion, Atlantic Nat. Bank v. Modular Age, Inc.[4]   In Modular Age, Atlantic National Bank provided funding for construction of a hotel.  The bank then sued the surety company of the general contractor for defective construction when the walls between rooms in the hotel were found to be noncompliant with building codes.  Specifically, the walls did not meet the fire rating for safety imposed by the building code.  The court framed the issue for the case by asking whether or not walls which meet the building code were a design requirement for which the architect was responsible, or were they a construction requirement, independent of design for which the building contractor was responsible.[5]  In Modular Age, the terms of the contract between the owner and the contractor stated:

The contractor shall secure and pay for all permits, governmental fees and licenses necessary for the proper execution and completion of the Work, which are applicable at the time the bids are received.  It is not the responsibility of the Contractor to make certain that the Drawings and Specifications are in accordance with applicable laws, statutes, building codes and regulations.[6]

The contract utilized was an American Institute of Architects (AIA) form.[7]  Even though the contractor had recommended the wall system that was utilized at the project, the Modular Age Court determined that this was a failure of the architect to include in the design the code-compliant specifications.  The Court stated:

[i]t is clearly the architect’s function and responsibility to design walls which will meet code requirements for one hour fire resistance rating between tenancies.  It is his responsibility to insure that the plans and specifications comply with the applicable building codes for the area where the structure is to be built.[8]

In its final analysis of the architect’s responsibility, the Modular Age Court, quoting Teufel v. Wienir,[9] concluded:

If an item is installed in accordance with the specifications of a Standard American Institute of Architects’ guaranty, the contractor is not liable if the item’s failure to function properly is due to its design being improper for intended use.[10]

The Modular Age opinion demonstrates how it is not always obvious on its face whether a code violation arises from a design flaw or a contractor error and in that it shows how contractual language can affect the allocation of risks relating to repairs necessitated by violations of applicable building codes.  The opinion also demonstrates that the answer to these questions will often include a fact-intensive analysis of the code violation, the underlying contract, and the project design in order to determine responsibility.

Allocating the Risk of Code Violations by Contract Terms

As demonstrated in the Modular Age opinion, often contractors will attempt to limit their responsibility concerning code violations by utilizing language in the underlying construction contract.  For example, many of the standard contract forms have language limiting the contractor’s responsibility.  One such example is the often utilized AIA A201 document, which states:

The Contractor is not required to ascertain that the Contract Documents are in accordance with applicable laws, statutes, ordinances, building codes, and rules and regulations, but any nonconformity discovered by or made known to the Contractor shall be reported promptly to the Architect.[11] 

This limitation of risk to the contractor for code violations can also be found in the AIA A201 contract form which states “[t]he Contractor shall not be responsible for the adequacy of the performance or design criteria required by the Contract Documents.[12]

The Associated General Contractors’ standard contract form (often referred to as the “AGC form”) contains similar limitation language protecting the contractor when it states:

If in the course of the performance of the [Contractor’s obligations] the Contractor discovers any errors, omissions or inconsistencies in the Contract Documents, the Contractor shall promptly report them to the Owner.  It is recognized, however, that the Contractor is not acting in the capacity of a licensed design professional, and that the Contractor’s examination is to facilitate construction and does not create an affirmative responsibility to detect errors, omissions or inconsistencies or to ascertain compliance with applicable laws, building codes or regulations.  Following receipt of written notice from the Contractor of defects, the Owner shall promptly inform the Contractor what action, if any, the Contractor shall take with regard to the defects.

The next paragraph of the AGC form further limits the contractor’s risk when it states:

The Contractor shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inconsistencies discovered unless the Contractor knowingly fails to report a recognized problem to the Owner.[13]

Under both the AIA and AGC forms, the contractor’s potential liability for code violations only occurs for knowingly failing to inform the owner of code violations discovered.  Additionally, the language of the AIA form also appears to transfer the contractor’s responsibility for performance criteria back to the architect, which could potentially provide additional protection to the contractor.  As seen in the Modular Age opinion, the contract form that was used is important, because it can significantly and materially alter the common law allocations of responsibility for code errors between the contractor and the owner’s architect.[14]

[1] Willamette Crushing Co. v. State, 188 Ariz. 79, 81, 932 P.2d 1350, 1352 (Ariz. App. 1997).

[2] Id.

[3] Id.

[4] Atlantic Nat. Bank v. Modular Age, Inc., 363 So. 2d 1152 (App. Fla. 1978).

[5] Id. at 1153

[6] Id. at 1155

[7] Id.

[8] Id.

[9] Teufel v. Wienir 411 P.2d 151 (Wash. 1966).

[10] Id.

[11] AIA, A201, ¶ 3.2.2.

[12] AIA, A201, ¶ 3.12.10.

[13] AGC Document No. 200, ¶¶ 3.3.2 and 3.3.3.

[14]  In design-build construction, the contractor is assuming responsibility for the architect’s design.   In this situation, the owner will have the right to hold the contractor responsible if the plans and specifications do not meet building codes.  However, the contractor it may still have a claim against the architect the contractor employed to design the project.

© 2016 Matthew W. Harrison and Harrison Law, PLLC All Rights Reserved

This website and article have been prepared by Harrison Law, PLLC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or financial advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.